A few more minutes strolling through comp.lang.ruby strengthens my "it's all about the language's inventor's native language" theory - Ruby's BDFL is of course Japanese, and it seems one reason Ruby is behind python on unicode support (yes, really - or at least lots of Ruby people appear to think so) is the widely-held Japanese belief that Unicode is a tiny and inadequate character set. And for all I know they may be right, although it's good enough for all the languages I think I'm ever likely to be interested in so (just like ASCII-only American programmers) I don't care.
I get the impression that some Japanese people are annoyed that their text is especially space-inefficient in UTF-8. But I don't quite get it -- disk is cheap, RAM doesn't fill up due to native-language text, and gzip encoding should mitigate the bandwidth issues.# Ian Bicking
you can get a better sense of the issue starting here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_unification# anonymous