Subject Re: [Firebird-Architect] Collations (was Re: UTF-8 vs UTF-16)
Author Ann Harrison
adem wrote:

> It is not that I dont care (well, maybe it is, I
>suppose), but an array (or a column in a table called
>CHARSETS or something) seems to be able to replace the
>algo you describe below, and give me the freedom and the
>responsibility to specify *my own* collation order
>--especially if I am dealing with less than widely
>known languages.
Sure, but so does the current arrangement. Firebird comes with a dll
that supports as many collations as we consider important. If some
application needs a Catalan collation and we don't support it, the
developers can write their own dll, using the predefined interface. The
problem with an entirely "outside the box" collation is that it can't be
used in an index so range requests that are satisfied by an index won't
match the results of the same request executed without an index. That's
not good. The other advantage of the current approach is that the
developers of the Catalan collation can, if they choose, contribute it
to Firebird to be integrated into the distributed dll.

> I have read it. And, ouch! It is a very good example
>of how the database developer needs to be an expert
>on linguistics... Is this really fair on the developers?
Once a collation is done, it's no longer a problem for developers. If
users of the collation find problems with it, then almost by definition,
they 're already experts and can at least help in creating a new
collation or fixing the old one.