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I suggest reading the eev.ee article others are linking in these comments. Or Joel Spolsky's "Back to Basics" article. Both do a pretty good job of highlighting some of the complexity in this area, and why things sometimes seem like they're being made harder.

Put most concisely, it's something like "making the most common use case as easy as possible can make slightly less common use cases wrong, dangerous and hard".

It's not an out of touch academic committee making these changes out of ignorance or spite. It's people who have to support more use cases than yours. Even if yours is the most common, that doesn't mean that the rest (internationalization, binary data transfer) are distant, rare outliers, or that the frequency of non-traditionally-"simple" ascii text handling applications isn't changing.

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