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Subject: Re: [boost] [string] proposal
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-01-21 11:48:48

Matus Chochlik wrote:
> Dear list,

> Then it was proposed that we create a utf8_t string type
> that would be used *together* (for all eternity) with
> the standard basic_string<>. While I see the advantages
> here, I (as I already said elsewhere) have the following
> problem with this approach:
> Using a name like utf8_t or u8string, string_utf8, etc.
> at least to me (and I've consulted this off the list,
> with several people) suggests, that UTF-8 is still
> something special and IMO also sends the message
> that it is OK to remain forever with the various encodings
> and std::string as it is today.

rather than viewing std::string as a sequence of character
encodings, view it as a sequence of bytes along with
a few extra functions compared to std::vector. Lot's
of programs use std::string in this way without depending
upon any behavior related to character encoding.

now, consider utf8_string as a sequence of character
encodings which might be implemented in terms of
std::string. It's a different thing and should have a different

>We should *IMO* endorse the opposite.

It is not our proper role to endorse or deprecate
programming practices. It's a fools errand in any case.
The best anyone can do is provide alternatives and
explain why he thinks they are superior.

> My suggestion is the following:
> Let us create a class called boost::string that will have
> all the properties that a string handling class in 2011+ A.D.

What happens in 2021 A.D. when it is discovered that
"they did it wrong".

> should have, basically what std::string should have been.

what you (or we, or someone else) thinks string should have been.

This idea depends upon a few presumptions which are not true.
a) that std::string is used only for character encodings.
b) that someone can know all the things that std::string might be used for
as it is
c) that someone now has the knowledge to design a new version of
std::string which will never need be changed.

Basically, if you're going to make a "new" thing - fine - just
make sure you give it a new name.

Robert Ramey

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