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> > File names, et al in Win32 are all pure Unicode and, to keep
> the WinCE size
> > down, Microsoft, in their near-infinite wisdom and judgement,
> decided to do
> > away with the <foo>A versions of the APIs which would accept ASCII (or
> > UTF-8, presumably) names and convert to Unicode behind the scenes.  This
> > means that if I want to open a file, I have to manually convert
> the string
> > (UTF-8 or ASCII, same difference in this case) to Unicode
> before using it.
> Forgive me for being dense, for I know very little about unicode.  Doesn't
> this mean that all strings in WinCE take up twice as much room as
> they would
> normally require?  If so, in normal use, is it possible that they actually
> waste more memory than they save by removing the ASCII compatible calls?
> (I'm no Windows person, either)

I don't know much about Unicode myself, no WinCE devices, but I think you
are mixing up things here.
I think that Ascii compatible functions are taking space in the Rom (or hard
disk if the system has one and stores OS on it).
Using UTF-16 (or similar) wastes Ram, indeed, and hard disk space too
(cheaper than Ram, though).
At least from the occidental point of view. After all, 7 bit storage should
be enough for english speaking people, so 8 bit Ascii is a waste of space
too (but storing 7 bit characters in 8 bit memory cells costs a lot of
processing time too). Remember telex used to transmit 6 bit characters (all
It's always a tale of compromises between space -- we tend to have plenty of
it, less on hand-held device but this is quickly changing, and processing
time -- not a major issue today too. I guess no one have the perfect
solution. As someone stated here, it also depends on your needs.


Philippe Lhoste (Paris -- France)
Professional programmer and amateur artist