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A: Perhaps, they should have done less and the support would have been better. In the CPython reference implementation, the internal string representation was changed. The UTF-16 was replaced by one of three possible encodings (ISO-8859-1, UCS-2 or UCS-4) depending on the actual string content. To add a single non-ASCII or non-BMP character, the entire string will often be implicitly converted to a different encoding. The internal encoding is transparent to the script. This design is meant to optimize the performance of indexing operations on Unicode code points. However, we argue that counting or indexing code points should not be important for the majority of uses—compared, for instance, to grapheme clusters. To our knowledge, Python currently provides no support of the latter.