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From: Beman Dawes (bdawes_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-01-06 16:51:00

At 02:35 PM 1/5/2003, Sean Parent wrote:

>on 1/5/03 10:21 AM, Beman Dawes at bdawes_at_[hidden] wrote:
>> I had a conversation with Bill Plauger, Howard Hinnant, and several
>> library implementors at the last C++ committee meeting, and we agreed
>> a possible approach to the conversion problem. Conversions between wide
>> and narrow names has always been the hold up. No one has been willing
>> step forward and say "Of all the possible ways to do the conversion,
>> is how libraries should do it."
>Rather than using simple path specifier (which I think are a very limited
>way to refer to a local resource) - why not make the path syntax be URI
>based? There is already a W3C proposal for extending URIs to be fully
>international friendly (IRIs) -
>This would also allow for relative references, remote references,
>authentication, versioned file systems (such as WebDAV
><>), and query references to database file systems.
>I would rather see going with an existing standard than inventing yet
>another way to refer to resources with international names.


I think you may have misunderstood the context, although
internationalization issues are confusing enough that I may be the confused
one. Here is my understanding of the problem.

The syntax, semantics, and about everything else about paths that operating
system functions traffic in was defined years ago for each operating
system, standardized or not. Those native path formats aren't something we
can change.

Likewise, higher-level generic path formats have been nailed down for years
by POSIX, RFC2396, etc. That's why the Filesystem Library's Generic Path
Grammar was chosen as a subset of those standards.

For boost::filesystem::path, any other path handling facility, the need
arises to convert a path between narrow and wide character strings. For
example, the operating system may use narrow character paths but the
program traffics in wstrings. That causes a need for conversions, and if I
understand correctly, there are a number of ways (all conforming to one
standard or another) to do that conversion, and it is really messy because
of locale issues. PJP is well aware of those standards; indeed he wrote
some of them, and IIRC has been to Japan and other Asian countries more
than twenty times dealing with internationalization issues.

So the problem isn't to "invent yet another way to refer to resources with
international names". Rather, it is a need to be able to convert to
between existing ways to reference resources with international names.


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