[Melbourne-pm] Next Melbourne PM meeting, Wednesday 8th February

Jacinta Richardson jarich at perltraining.com.au
Fri Jan 20 15:43:12 PST 2012

G'day lovely people,

I don't know where the next meeting will be, but I'd be happy to give the 
following talk thereat (my OPL mini conf talk at LCA this year).

    Don't hate Unicode

Unicode sneaks into the most unexpected places. Do you ever wonder if your life 
would be much, much easier if your default encoding was not ASCII? Do you know 
what the difference between UTF-8 and Unicode strings are? Do you know what your 
default encoding is, or how to change it? Does it all seem to hard, and make you 
resent anything to do with the locale?

If 7-bit ASCII was good enough for me, it should be good enough for you! Have 
you been left behind with this whole Unicode thing to the point that you're 
confused and resentful of the whole thing? I know I was. When your name, and 
everything you write works wonderfully in ASCII it can be hard to summon the 
enthusiasm to learn about Unicode, even when you know that you should be 
handling your data better.

Imagine your code is using a logging library, that expects strings. What does it 
do when you pass it a Unicode object? It'll probably write it, encoding it in 
your default encoding (probably ASCII). And it'll probably work, on all of your 
test cases, and on most of your data. Until someone comes on with a non-ASCII 
character in their name, and causes your code to throw an exception. You 
probably weren't expecting it, it might not even be your library. Unicode works 
implicitly often enough that Unicode can sneak in well before you realise your 
code isn't robust enough to handle it.

This talk will cover the essentials of Unicode and how it affects things like 
regular expressions.

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