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    SubjectRe: UTF-8 practically vs. theoretically in the VFS API (was: Re: JFS default behavior)

    On Mon, 16 Feb 2004, Linus Torvalds wrote:
    > Which, if you think about is, is 100% EXACTLY equivalent to what a UTF-8
    > program should do when it sees broken UTF-8. It can still access the file,
    > it can still do everything else with it, but it can't print out the
    > filename, and it should use some kind of escape sequence to show that
    > fact.

    Side note: a UTF-8 program needs to do escape handling _anyway_, because
    even if the filename is 100% UTF-8 compliant, you still can't print out
    all the characters as such. In particular, charcters like '\n' etc are
    obviously perfectly fine UTF-8, yet they need to be escaped when printing
    out filenames in a file selector.

    So I claim (and yes, people are free to disagree with me) that a
    well-written UTF-8 program won't even have any real extra code to handle
    the "broken UTF-8" code. It's just another set of bytes that needs
    escaping, and they need escaping for _exactly_ the same reason some
    regular utf-8 characters need escaping: because they can't be printed.

    So it's all the same thing - it's just the reasons for "unprintability"
    that are slightly different.

    Now, I'll agree that getting the escaping right (whether for things like
    '\n' or for byte sequences that are invalid UTF-8) can be painful. I just
    don't think that the pain is in any way specific for "invalid UTF-8". It's
    just _hard_ to think of all the special cases, and most programs have bugs
    because somebody forgot something.

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