[ic] UTF-8 Advantages/Disadvantages

Chris Keane chris.keane at zzgi.com
Sat May 29 20:36:17 UTC 2010

> I do not think that you *have* to use UTF8, I think before it existed sites
> like yours have been working fine.
> I am afraid that the key for speeding up the loops at the moment, is to
> rewrite them.

Heh, I understand the issue at a technical level I'm sure you can 
appreciate that from a release management perspective it's puzzling that 
an "upgrade" would slow down established code by a factor of 10.

Some of the more critical items in our system, such as the race gridding 
system (loops extensively) we've completely moved down into a usertag 
(which speeds the process from ~60 seconds per race on 5.7.2, ~8 seconds 
per race on 5.4,  to ~2 seconds per race)

However, I'm sure I don't have to mention how eye-rolling it is to have 
usertags that have HTML embedded in the code or loaded from our content 
management system rather than being able to use ITL.

Makes me wonder at what point we should jettison Interchange altogether 
because all our important code is written straight in perl! I suspect we 
have one of the more customized and extensive systems written on 
Interchange in existence and "rewriting all our loops" will be 
problematic at best! We have our DB-backed CMS, CRM, kiosks, check-in 
desks, race control, results management, e-commerce, reporting and 
accounting systems, all ajax-ified. 7-8 years of development which would 
be painful to revisit completely, especially with no assurance that the 
"problem" can even be solved without rewriting in straight perl. I also 
don't want us to be stuck in 5.4 land, or non-UTF-8 forever since we're 
starting to sign non-english speaking clients.

As a long time proponent of Interchange I think the IC dev group does a 
stellar job and I do understand the importance of UTF-8. I feel bad 
offering criticism when in this case I haven't gone so far as digging 
through the code myself to understand the challenges of the UTF-8 
integration. I suspect that more and more IC users will bump their heads 
into this one (look at Bill @ Bottlenose, for example), so if this was 
my project I would have this upward-revision performance disaster fairly 
high at the top of my critical problems list... but that's just me. 
Regardless, I love you guys and I offer this entire comment in a spirit 
of concerned interest.

If any of the core group need access to one of our test environments to 
mess around with let me know.


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