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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • contains some confusing information:

    > [inversion lists] ... especially for those who deal with ranges and Unicode.

    Well, you can do ranges and Unicode perfectly well in Perl 5 (or 6, for that matter), without having to know anything about inversion lists.

    Don't get me wrong: inversion lists are a cool data structure, and the article is fine, and the Cultured Perl series is worth following.

    Inversion lists are a neat concept that happens to match the data of Unicode character database rather nicely. Hopefully one day inversion lists will be used in the Perl 6 (Parrot, really) implementation, by using the IBM's ICU library for Unicode, which does use inversion lists written in C(++). But this will be invisible to the user of Parrot/Perl 6.

    Perl 5 uses neither ICU nor inversion lists for its Unicode.

    To summarize: don't think that you need knowledge of inversion lists to use Unicode in Perl, either in Perl 5 or Perl 6. But feel free to use inversion lists for other cool stuff. (One cool thing would be to make Perl 5 to use inversion lists to implement its Unicode character classes instead of the current scheme. But do read up on your Lovecraft before taking a look at the current scheme.)
    • Heh, I always get grief for the article blurbs.

      Those are written by the IBM editors, and I don't see them until the article is published. Usually they are OK, but (as in this example) they say something that's not... well... exactly the way I would say it :)