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Re: Query on UTF-32 encodings for letters

Joe Buck wrote:
On Tue, Jan 18, 2005 at 01:20:37AM -0500, Robert Dewar wrote:

OK, but the fight over whether Ada should have case insensitive identifier
names was discussed and decided 20 years ago, with almost no controversy.
Pretty much everyone agreed this was the way to go.

20 years ago, only the US DoD and its contractors had any interest in Ada,
and they did all of their business in English.

That's quite inaccurate, there was significant international involvement, remember that Ada was an international standard. Only someone quite unaware of Ada history would make such a statement. There was significant interest in Ada from the start from many other countries. The ada business is not, and never was, exclusively defense oriented, though of course that is a significant segment (probably something like half the current business).

It is true that at the
time (1980) the use of >8 bit character codes was not seen as important
(and that included delegations from Japan, China etc, which concluded at
the time that everything would be encoded as 8-bit octets anyway).

In 1995, wide-character was added, with the notion that a single plane
approach was appropriate at that time, but there was quite a deliberate
decision NOT to require the use of wide characters in identifiers.

Now in 2005, the decision is to require wide characters in identifiers.
This reasonably corresponds to general thinking in this area :-)

Case insensitivity is
trivial and uncontroversial if you're only dealing with English and ASCII.

Actually the experience is that Latin-1 also works quite smoothly, as I said earlier, no one has ever raised queries about the decisions made for Ada 1995, which seem to have worked well.

Extending case insensitivity outside Latin-1 to the multi-plane world is tricky
indeed, but actually I think the ARG did a pretty good job of making the right
decisions (once you decide that you do want to do this extension, which is something
several delegations, including Japan, insisted on). Have you read the full
text of the AI?

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