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Re: wide characters and i18n

> Introduces fascinating (er, frustrating?) portability issues, and the
> old debate about whether meta data (and resource forks and the like)
> should merely be replaced but the idea of using a directory and putting
> all the extra stuff in it as extra files.
Using $ directories has always struck me as odd but I guess it has
some advantages, like shipping all needed libraries and not depending on
a particular version being installed systemwide.

> Note that it took Apple quite a long time to get all (assuming it's now
> "all") of the file handling/copying/archiving utilities to support
> HFS+'s extended attributes and ACLs, and they can't make up their
> minds whether they really want to deprecate resource forks or not.
Having used MacOS only occasionally, I remain blissfully ignorant about its
quirks and resource forks are still a mystery to me.

> It's a hard problem.  For binary format files I personally think
> magic numbers remain a pretty good (workable, and robust if not
> perfect) solution.
> For "text" files (where this discussion began) where you want to know
> the character set extended attributes _do_ start to make a claim: while
> it might be arguable (as I did) that directories and multiple files are
> theoretically equivalently powerful, we just are not accustomed to
> thinking of a "directory" as a file, and similar softare changes are
> needed in either case.
Sure, it would be great if there was something like magic numbers for text
files. I guess BOM was meant to serve as such but there're too many
UTF-16/-32 files without it. Piping poorly generated UTF-16 text to iconv on
x86 without explicitly specifying byte order is a great way to learn Chinese.
Ever since I first saw BeOS I'm in love with extended attributes (I'm not
quite sure if BeOS used xattr's or something else), especially because you
can Just Tag Your Filesâ and thus avoid having to use ugly looking filenames,
lots of symlinks, strangely organized directories or any combination of the

Kind regards

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