Your comments were on target as usual.
Because of some of the issues you describe below, and because of the lack of
clarity in some people's minds about what Unicode means, the phrasing I
ended up using in this particular document was:
"Be sure that the authoring, build, and conversion tools can support all of
the character sets that you will be working with. In today's development
environment, this is most easily achieved by using tools that are
(It formerly read "Be sure that the authoring, build, and conversion tools
are 8-bit, double-byte enabled.)
Multiple character set handling is really the issue. Unicode will eventually
be the ubiquitous solution. In the meantime, I didn't want to incorrectly
state that Unicode was the only way.
Thanks as always for commenting! It's nice to see you back on the list;
you've been quiet for a while!
----- Original Message -----
From: Addison Phillips [GSC] <email@example.com>
To: Suzanne Topping <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Unicode List
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2000 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: Double Byte enabled
> Well.... maybe...
> Two things bug me about this:
> 1. Many developers unfamiliar with international issues conflate
> "double-byte enabling" and/or Unicode with internationalization. If you
> talking strictly about the character handling aspects of I18N, which are
> entirely trivial, then, yes, it makes sense to talk about Unicode enabling
> and/or character set processing. But in my role as a humble I18N
> this is usually the first misconception that I have to break: not only
> character != byte, but also Unicode != I18N (!!) There are many issues
> as collation, date/time, number formatting, message formatting,
> localization, etc. which Unicode does little or nothing to solve directly.
> You'd be better off to advise that any code "be fully internationalized"
> go on to define that a little, rather than merely "multibyte enabled" or
> "Unicode enabled". Part of the definition of "fully internationalized", of
> course, will be "Unicode enabling"...
> 2. Also, while Unicode enabling is a Very Good Thing, it isn't always the
> right solution. Unicode support solves a large number of international
> problems. But the right solution for a specific project may need to take
> into account other variables that point to multibyte enablement. I hate to
> speak in hypotheticals, especially because I'm the last person on Earth to
> want another non-Unicode-enabled application floating around out there,
> there *are* valid development reasons to multibyte enable an application
> rather than Unicode enabling it. These reasons are almost always business
> related (time and money) rather than being programming or architectural
> issues (with unlimited time and money, Unicode is the right decision for a
> client/server system).
> One area where this is partially the case is the delivery of HTML.
> Limitations and implementations of Unicode in older browesers make it a
> less-ideal choice for delivery of Web pages in certain locales today. So a
> "Unicode enabled" web server still needs to be able to recognize and
> character sets appropriately, at least for a little while longer... and
> may involve multibyte enabled code.
> So, while I completely agree with what everyone else on this thread has
> written, I think it's important to caveat it a little.
> Addison P. Phillips
> Senior Globalization Consultant
> Global Sight Corporation
> Accelerating Global e-Business(TM)
> (+1) 408.350.3600 - Telephone
> Going global with your web site? Global Sight provides Web-based software
> solutions that simplify the process, cut costs, and save time.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Suzanne Topping <email@example.com>
> To: Unicode List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2000 10:27 AM
> Subject: Re: Double Byte enabled
> > Thanks to Ken, Murray, John, Andrea, and all others for your excellent
> > comments and summaries of this issue.
> > It helped gel the situation for me, and of course concluded that
> > enabled" is the best short description to use.
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Kenneth Whistler <email@example.com>
> > To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Cc: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2000 9:39 PM
> > Subject: Re: Double Byte enabled
> > > Suzanne,
> > >
> > > > "Unicode enabled" is probably the clearest term, but I would
> > > > comments on historic use of "multibyte enabled".
> > >
> > > "multibyte enabled" was simply the extension of the term "doublebyte
> > enabled"
> > > for Chinese character sets, which overspilled the bounds of a two-byte
> > > encoding. EUC-CNS has 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-byte forms for characters.
> > > (See Ken Lunde's great book for details on all of this.)
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