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2012-08-27 10:49:49

Principle 1: No small Scheme implementation is required to support any specific Unicode character or repertoire (collection of characters), with the obvious exception of the ASCII repertoire.

Principle 2: Unicode is the predominant character standard today, and a small Scheme implementation's treatment of characters must conform to it, insofar as this does not conflict with Principle 1.

From these principles I draw the following detailed conclusions (where "Scheme" means "small Scheme, as proposed by me"):

  1. The char->integer procedure must return an exact integer between 0 and #xD7FF or between #xE000 and #x10FFFF when applied to a character supported by the implementation and belonging to the Unicode repertoire. This integer must be the Unicode scalar value of the character. Integers between #xD800 and #xDFFF do not correspond to any Unicode character.

This is independent of the implementation's internal representation. For example, in order to support a repertoire of basic Latin and modern Greek characters only, a Scheme implementation might use the ISO 8859-7 encoding internally. In that encoding, λ (lower-case lambda) is represented as #xEB; nevertheless, char->integer must still return #x03BB on that character.

An ASCII-only Scheme satisfies this requirement automatically, provided it does not deliberately scramble the natural mapping. (Schemes on EBCDIC systems already have ASCII conversion tables readily available.)

If the implementation supports non-Unicode characters, then char->integer must return an exact integer greater than #x10FFFF when applied to such characters. For example, characters with "bucky bits" could be implemented in this way.

  1. The integer->char procedure, when applied to an exact integer that char->integer returns when applied to some character c, must return c; that is, (integer->char (char->integer c)) ==> c for any character c.

An ASCII-only Scheme also satisfies this requirement automatically, with the same proviso.

  1. The char<? procedure and its relatives behave consistently with char->integer, as R5RS requires.
  1. The char-ci* procedures behave as if char-foldcase were applied to their arguments before calling the respective non-ci procedures.
  1. The procedures char-{alphabetic,numeric,whitespace,upper-case, lower-case}? return #t if their arguments have the Unicode properties Alphabetic, Numeric, White_Space, Uppercase, or Lowercase respectively. Note that many alphabetic characters (though no ASCII ones) are neither upper nor lower case.
  1. The char-downcase procedure, given an argument that forms the uppercase part of a Unicode upper/lower-case pair, must return the lowercase member of the pair, provided that both characters are supported by the Scheme implementation. (Language-specific casing pairs are ignored.) If the argument is not the uppercase part of such a pair, it is returned.
  1. The char-upcase procedure works the same way, mutatis mutandis. Note that many Unicode lowercase characters don't have uppercase equivalents.
  1. The char-foldcase procedure (an extension to R5RS) applies the Unicode simple case-folding algorithm to its argument (ignoring language-specific mappings). Mappings that don't accept or don't produce single characters are ignored.

In an ASCII-only Scheme, this is equivalent to the char-downcase procedure.

  1. An implementation may forbid some of the characters that it supports from appearing in strings, provided that the characters in the ASCII repertoire must not be forbidden.
  1. The string<? procedure and its relatives are not, contrary to R5RS, required to be a lexicographical extension of the corresponding procedures for characters. That allows strings to be compared in the native representation without conversion to Unicode. It also allows, at the other end of the spectrum, fully internationalized ISO 14651 multilingual sorting. Of course, the usual rules for ordering predicates apply: string=? must be an equivalence relation, string<?, string=, and string>? must be trichotomous, and so on.
  1. The procedures string-{up,down,fold}case (from R6RS) apply the Unicode full uppercasing, lowercasing, and folding algorithms, respectively, to their arguments. This may cause the result to differ in length from the argument. [Optional: What is more, a few characters have case-mappings that depend on the surrounding context. For example, Σ (Greek capital sigma) normally downcases to σ (Greek small sigma), but at the end of a word it downcases to ς (Greek small final sigma) instead.]

For an ASCII-only Scheme, string-upcase is a straightforward application of string-map to char-upcase, and string-{down,fold}case are straightforward applications of string-map to char-downcase.

  1. The string-ci* procedures act as if they applied string-foldcase to their arguments before calling the non-ci versions.
  1. [Deleted]
  1. In addition to the identifier characters of the ASCII repertoire specified by R5RS, Scheme implementations may permit any additional repertoire of Unicode characters to be employed in symbols (and therefore identifiers), provided that each such character has a Unicode general category of Lu, Ll, Lt, Lm, Lo, Mn, Mc, Me, Nd, Nl, No, Pd, Pc, Po, Sc, Sm, Sk, So, or Co, or is U+200C or U+200D (the zero-width non-joiner and joiner, respectively, which are needed for correct spelling in Persian, Hindi, and other languages). No non-Unicode characters may be used in symbols or identifiers.
  1. [Deleted]

Note that what is said of ASCII also applies to ISO 8859-1 (Latin-1), but not to Windows code page 1252 or other encodings.