# Should a character encoding that can't actually be used by a compiler/interpreter be allowed?

Suppose you are answering a code-golf challenge in a language whose interpreter can only use UTF-8. Say you have a program that uses some code points in the range 128-255, but not higher. Would it then be permissible to encode your answer in Latin-1 or some other single-byte encoding?

I would argue that only encodings directly usable with the language interpreter should be allowed. Otherwise, one could compress any answer and then claim that it uses a zip encoding.

This question is motivated mainly by answers that use an APL code page. I suspect that not all modern APL interpreters are capable of executing source that uses this encoding (but maybe I'm wrong).

• Which compiler/interpreter? It's not fair if all APL interpreters have to support the encoding being used. – Calvin's Hobbies Oct 22 '15 at 2:31
• I would be amazed if there was an APL interpreter that didn't support the APL code page because then what's the point? – Alex A. Oct 22 '15 at 2:33
• @AlexA. The APL codepage was created eons ago to be used on IBM mainframes. The technology may have moved on by now. – feersum Oct 22 '15 at 2:35
• I think this question falls under meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/5878/20469. – Alex A. Oct 22 '15 at 2:36
• @Calvin'sHobbies The various APL flavors are all mutually incompatible, so most programs only work on one of them. – feersum Oct 22 '15 at 2:37
• @AlexA. But none of the answers to that question address the point I'm bringing up here. – feersum Oct 22 '15 at 2:38
• @feersum what about MartinBüttner's comment on that question itself? – Dan Henderson Oct 22 '15 at 6:58
• Once I checked the APL code page in Wikipedia and didn't find some important characters like ⍪. But I'm not sure whether it is the code page being used in modern APL. – jimmy23013 Oct 22 '15 at 9:41
• @DanHenderson This one? I don't see how it's relevant. – feersum Oct 22 '15 at 11:36
• Either way, the problem is trivial to fix. Someone writes a program that converts from the legacy APL encoding to the Unicode APL characters and feeds the code to a "real" interpreter-- then an interpreter exists. – lirtosiast Oct 24 '15 at 4:01
• @jimmy23013 See here. – Adám Jun 21 '16 at 22:12

In effect, the new language is a combination of recode (with the right arguments) and the original language.