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Re: guile can't find a chinese named file

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: guile can't find a chinese named file
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 21:32:41 +0200

> From: David Kastrup <address@hidden>
> Cc: address@hidden,  address@hidden
> Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 20:00:03 +0100
> Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:
> > One other crucial detail is that Emacs also has unibyte strings
> > (arrays of bytes), which are necessary during startup, when Emacs
> > doesn't yet know how to decode non-ASCII strings.  Without that, you
> > wouldn't be able to start Emacs in a directory whose name includes
> > non-ASCII characters, because it couldn't access files it needs to
> > read to set up some of its decoding machinery.
> Hm, I know that XEmacs-Mule emphatically does not have unibyte strings
> (and Stephen considers them a complication and abomination that should
> never have been left in Emacs), so it must be possible to get away
> without them.

I doubt that's possible, at least not in general.  (You could get away
if you assumed UTF-8 encoded file names.)  Some translation tables for
some encodings must load files using the likes of load-path, and if
that includes non-ASCII file names, you are screwed unless you can use
unibyte strings.  That is why all Emacs primitives that accept file
names support both unibyte and multibyte strings as file names.

> And I don't think that the comparatively worse Mule implementation
> of XEmacs is due to that decision.

Emacs 20 vintage Mule didn't have all the sophisticated Unicode
support machinery we have today, so maybe for that subset the above
wasn't necessary.  Then again, Emacs couldn't be safely built or
started in a non-ASCII directory until just a few years ago, so
perhaps no one bothered to test that thoroughly with XEmacs, except in
ISO 2022 locales.

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