Ruby, then, has reached its Rubicon,
Will Matz be its Caesar and build a new Empire? Or
will the important
issues noted by Benjamin be ignored? Full Unicode,
threading, and a fast
VM are going to be critical factors.
They will not be ignored. But ony History knows the
…and only Prophecy knows the past.
Like many others, I would be happy to devote a large
amount of time to Ruby. In my particular case it
would be to i18n, since I can’t use Ruby without it.
But in practice, I have no way to find out whether
someone in Japan is already making an i18n effort, or
whether any changes I made would be accepted, or
whether matz has decided what i18n should consist of,
so it doesn’t really make sense for me to do anything
Except sit here and carp
If Ruby were my own project, I might do the following:
1 – Bite the Unicode bullet and accept that despite
the legitimate concerns of many Japanese, it is the
standard and it works well enough to get things done.
I wish TRON had won. It didn’t win.
2 – Use wide characters in Ruby internally. Forget
surrogates, like every other implementation does.
UCS2 characters are fast (always the same length) and
pretty near standard. A change like this is worth
having to recompile things for.
3 – Plug in rxpp regular expressions to replace the
narrow-character gnu regex file we have.
4 – Isolate IO routines (including console IO) to
provide a layer for translating encodings. There
could be more than one layer (I would want a
windows-specific one, but to start with you could just
put in a dumb ‘squashing’ of the internal UCS2 to
ASCII). All translations would be between UCS2 and
the currently active IO encoding.
This is just what would seem most obvious to me if I
were developing Ruby for my personal use, not
necessarily a recommendation for Ruby in real life.
The last document expressing the will of matz seems to
be this one from 2000, about the time discussion of
i18n petered out:
The current validity of these thoughts is impossible
to ascertain, but (unless perhaps my Japanese is at
fault) they seem to express a somewhat MULE-ish