John Feminella: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things — Unicode, Dates, and Names

Programs are neat, and the world is messy. When we try to use software to model the real world, there is an inevitable clash. In this talk, John Feminella points to three things that are messy in real life — and that are even messier when you try to deal with them inside of your program. These things are character sets, time zones, and people’s names.  His examples are in Ruby, but the problems he’s describing are universal across programming languages.

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