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Re: 16-bit wchar_t on Windows and Cygwin

Hi Bruno,

On Feb  2 17:02, Bruno Haible wrote:
> Hello Corinna,
> > And, please note the wording in SUSv4, for instance in
> >
> Likewise in POSIX:2008, at the URL

Oops, sorry for the wrong URL!  I'm using a local copy of SUSv4 for
speed, but forgot that entirely when copy/pasting it.

> >   The wc argument is a wint_t, the value of which the application shall
> >                        ^^^^^^                         ^^^^^^^^^^^
> >   ensure is a wide-character code corresponding to a valid character in
>               ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> >   the current locale, or equal to the value of the macro WEOF. If the
> >   argument has any other value, the behavior is undefined.
> What this sentence means in formulas, is that when an application passes
> a 'wint_t x' to iswalpha(), it has to satisfy
>    x == (wint_t) (wchar_t) x || x == EOF

Sure, I agree.  But it doesn't say this *exactly*, so I took the liberty
to stretch the limits a bit so that there is *some* way for applications
to use the wctype functions despite using UTF-16 and despite having a
surrogate value.

> > iswalpha takes wint_t, not wchar_t.  Since sizeof (wint_t) is 4 byte,
> > the function can return the correct value, provided that the application
> > converts the UTF-16 surrogate to UTF-32 before calling iswalpha.
> When an application does this, is passes an invalid wint_t value to
> iswalpha(), according to the spec paragraph that you have just cited.
> So the application uses an extension to POSIX functionality, not
> POSIX itself.

Well, given that the description doesn't explicitely talk about a value
given as wchar_t, but instead about a "wide-character code corresponding
to a valid character" I saw some room for interpretation...

> I see that Cygwin 1.7.x iswalpha() works in this way you describe (but
> mingw's iswalpha() doesn't). So this means that gnulib's proposed
> iswwalpha(wwchar_t) function could be implemented using iswalpha()
> on Cygwin 1.7.x and will not cause the Unicode based tables to be
> included in the executable. This is good and nice.

I'm glad you see it that way.

> But if you say that the application should convert UTF-16 surrogates
> to UTF-32 before calling iswalpha: That's certainly a requirement
> for Cygwin 1.7.x application that want to support the entire Unicode
> character set. But it's outside of POSIX, and many GNU programs will
> not want to include this added complexity. Just try to apply this
> suggestion to gnulib's quotearg.c, then estimate the time someone
> would need to apply it also to regcomp.c, strftime.c, mbscasestr.c,
> coreutils/src/wc.c, and so on.

Cygwin's regcomp is taken from FreeBSD and is UTF-16 capable, including
surrogate handling.  It only required two changes in the code.

But I see what you mean.  Another layer which abstracts this problem
looks like the right thing to do.


Corinna Vinschen                  Please, send mails regarding Cygwin to
Cygwin Project Co-Leader          cygwin AT cygwin DOT com
Red Hat

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