Character and byte offsets

Richard Tobin richard at
Thu Nov 5 13:40:02 GMT 1998

> Secondly, for proximity, you're worried about counting characters, not 
> bytes, but for addressing back into the entity, you're worried about byte, 
> not character, offsets.  So it's even harder than it looks.

This reminds me - are there good techniques for maintaining a byte
offset in conjunction with character-set translations?  Ideally you
want the translation done in big blocks at a low level, but then how
do you access the byte offsets?  In RXP/LTXML I keep the offset of the
start of the block (which is actually a line), and then (in the case
of UTF-8) effectively reverse-translate to calculate how much to add
(this relies on UTF-8 being invertible).  Surely there must be a better

-- Richard

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