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

Bryan Jurish moocow at ling.uni-potsdam.de
Sat Jan 17 13:33:06 CET 2009

moin moin,

On 2009-01-16 15:56:22, Mathieu Bouchard <matju at artengine.ca> appears to
have written:
> 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.

... which (if I understand correctly) pushes the whole encoding mess
onto the I/O layer, which I believe (based on many many past headaches
trying to get the encoding support of the perlIO layer to work
transparently on in-memory strings) is The Wrong Way To Do It (TM).
Precisely the I/O layer is "low-level" in my sense, which means it ought
to be bytes only.  Encoding-dependent "character" units are higher-level
and ought to be independent of that layer.

>>>> ... 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.

Leveraging vanilla pd means that I can't (easily) export any functions,
since each external is supposed to be self-contained.  Of course, it's
easy to write such functions and offer them as "copy-in" replacements,
or define function-body macros, etc. etc. ... to date, there have been
no requests for such an API, and potential users have to write their own


Bryan Jurish                           "There is *always* one more bug."
jurish at ling.uni-potsdam.de      -Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology

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