Subject: Re: Any effort putting all things into unicode?
To: Zhang Weiwu <>
From: Matthias Buelow <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/12/2003 19:26:26
Zhang Weiwu writes:

>I just wonder why, many leading open unix-like OS (BSDs and linux) which
>still have LOTS of trouble in I18N don't simply use unicode (say,
>utf16le, as used in WinNT all versions) all the way? I've been working

Redhat Linux 9 does that (at least on some scale) and it caused so
many problems that the first thing we did after installing it was
to switch locale settings back to iso-8859-1.  Among the many problems

 * older applications which do not support Unicode didn't work properly
 * files with filenames containing non-utf8 8-bit characters couldn't
   be accessed anymore, neither in the shell nor in the filemanager
   the user in question was used to (kde konqueror)
 * documents containing 8-bit non-utf8 characters, such as tex files
   with iso-8859-1 characters, couldn't be used anymore, because either
   the text editor (emacs in that question) recognized the utf8-locale
   (can't remember actually if it did) and then misinterpreted the
   8-bit characters in the file, or you'd convert all 8-bit documents
   to utf8 and then tools like latex and other text processing
   utilities don't work properly anymore.
Basically I think that Unicode support would mean that _all_
applications would have to be rewritten for it, which is something that
I don't see will be done in the forseeable future, if at all.
But the issue ought to be addressed of course.

  Matthias Buelow;  mkb@{,}