Unix/Java design issues (Was: Re: Is CDATA "structure"?)

Tim Bray tbray at textuality.com
Wed Jul 21 21:27:01 BST 1999

At 02:48 PM 7/21/99 -0400, Hunter, David wrote:
>"all XML processors <em>must</em> accept the UTF-8 and UTF-16
>encodings of 10646" (emphasis added), since [I believe] UTF-8 and UTF-16 are
>the most common ways to store Unicode characters.  

Unfortunately, no.  I suspect that if you took a worldwide inventory, the
four most common formats would be:

1. A Microsoft codepage that is almost but not quite ISO-8859-1
4. Shift-JIS

(not necessarily in that order)

Pure ASCII is UTF-8 as it sits, but as the Net becomes less and 
less Anglocentric, there is amazingly little pure ASCII being created
any more.

The XML spec chose UTF-8 and UTF-16 because unlike the other specimens
in the list above, they can encode data containing arbitrary mixtures
of different character sets.  -Tim

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