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Re: size?

Subject: Re: size?
From: Paul Prescod <paul@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 19:06:01 -0500
planet of the weeds david
Steve Muench wrote:
> Many of these i18n issues are still under debate in
> various W3C working groups, so XSLT at the moment has
> resisted the need to define what a "character" means.

That is prudent as long as this is a temporary situation that will be
corrected at some point. Others seem to feel that the idea of string
length is inherently intractable. I do not see how that can be true. The
computing world cannot abandon the concept of character counting.

> One can obviously imagine simple XSLT extension functions
> that, for a given set of internationalization assumptions
> which can be made for a certain application/site, would
> return the length() of a string, so it's not impossible,
> just not part of the standard.

It is worse if we all start making local assumptions. That's how we got
into the situation where the "world wide web" only supports ASCII in many
places because that's what was implemented when the Internet was just a
North American phenomenon. The experts (at W3C or maybe the Unicode
consortium) need to figure it out and tell us what is right.
 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

Earth will soon support only survivor species -- dandelions, roaches, 
lizards, thistles, crows, rats. Not to mention 10 billion humans.
	- Planet of the Weeds, Harper's Magazine, October 1998

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