[PD] request for objections: any2string -> unsigned char

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Fri Jan 16 15:56:22 CET 2009

On Fri, 16 Jan 2009, Bryan Jurish wrote:

> UTF-8 also does a pretty good job of compactly representing latin
> character sets for natural language data, where non-ASCII characters
> tend to be relatively infrequent anyways.  UTF-16 and UTF-32 are pretty
> wasteful in these cases.  (Of course, I'm biting my own tail with this
> point, since the [pdstring] representation is even more wasteful than
> UTF-32 ;-)

Well, RAM is in discount at a very big mailorder store, where you can get 
4096 megs as two sticks of DDR2-800 memory for 29,99 CAD, which is 18,24 

I don't think that the goal is to be compact, nor that you really have 
much choice here. The goal is so that Pd users can mess with string 
characters the way they want, in a way that is fairly easy to use (well at 
least, that's the goal I can infer when I look at the idea of using lists 
as strings!). Then if you decide not to depend on any other Pd library and 
try to leverage existing Pd 0.39+ the most you can, then you have to use 
Pd's lists, and then it's 64 or 128 bits per char.

And then, in theory, Pd could adopt any internal rep, as long as file I/O 
and socket I/O is done the way it needs to be done.

>>> ... except if you're building rsp. reading a persistent index for a
>>> large file, in which case tell() & seek() are likely to be a wee bit
>>> faster than parsing and counting variable-length-encoded characters ...
>> right.
> ... or calling malloc(), or doing pretty much any other low-level fiddly
> stuff ...

It doesn't matter much, as Pd patches wouldn't be doing malloc(). 
Furthermore, I expect that you have or you would have a function for 
converting a list to a C string in the proper encoding, so that externs 
that want to use your strings don't have to do for(i=0;...) a[i]=b[i] all 
of the time, but also because it's a good opportunity for introducing 
optional encoding conversion.

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| Mathieu Bouchard - tél:+1.514.383.3801, Montréal, Québec

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