Today we stumbled across an old question:
Should UTF-16 be considered harmful?
I'm going to ask what is probably quite a controversial question: "Should one of the most popular encodings, UTF-16, be considered harmful?"
The long and short of the question is that UTF-8 is unambiguous and compact, while UTF-32 is unambiguous and fast. UTF-16 is ambiguous (at times) and wins neither on speed nor on size. Since it is non-optimal in every case and there are known defects in operating systems and popular language implementations, why use it?
The answers and all eleventy bajillion comments are excessive, at times inaccurate or opinion-based, but nonetheless do contain a lot of useful information. They make compelling arguments for and against using UTF-16 in various situations. As someone who has been programming for many years and using Unicode for most of them, I learned a few things myself.
We discussed it in chat for a bit, with the following options:
Delete the whole question.
Clean up the comments and answers, then lock it.
Just lock it.
Currently, the question is locked. Should we do anything further with this question? Delete it? Unlock, clean it up, lock it again?
Keep in mind this question does have over 70k views and four questions link to it.