Re: Double Byte enabled

From: John O'Conner (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2000 - 18:50:38 EDT

Suzanne Topping wrote:

> Does the term "double-byte enabled" accurately describe Unicode-based apps?
> Seems antiquated and inaccurate.

Although the term "double-byte enabled" may not be appropriate for Unicode-based
apps, certainly the future introduction of values above the BMP will introduce
similar text processing. I acknowledge that the problem will not be nearly as
bad as the "double-byte" or "multi-byte" issues with any of the legacy Asian
character sets and their encodings. However, the fact is that text processing
will not be as simple as it has been. Dealing with surrogate pairs will
certainly be more complicated than fixed-width 16-bit values. With my
less-than-mature understanding of how Unicode will evolve, I consider the entire
surrogate pair mechanism to be a burden, and my initial excitement over Unicode
is somewhat lessened because of it. Even with that said, I still appreciate all
the other positive aspects of Unicode and promote its usage.

> I'm editing a document which says something about making sure applications
> are double-byte enabled, and I'd like to come up with a more appropriate and
> current phrase.

References to "double-byte enabled" make me think that your application doesn't
use Unicode at all, since the term is completely inappropriate for Unicode-based
applications. If the application is actually Unicode-aware or Unicode-based,
perhaps one could simply say that the application is Unicode-enabled or even
"conformant" if it meets all the requirements spelled out in the spec.

John O'Conner

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