Of course file names can be handled safely in most languages, but that's not the point. Wheeler describes it better and in more detail, but briefly, the aim is:
To illustrate the last point: The only possible delimiter for files names is currently the null byte, which is not very practical in many languages and in shell scripting in particular. Linefeeds would be much more natural and are supported by many more tools.
The benefits are clear, and the costs appear to be very low. The only serious objection I have seen so far concerns existing file names using an ISO 2022-based encoding. There are several possible solutions: allowing the control character restriction to be lifted as a per-mount option (possibly only allowing ESC, SI and SO), or a mount option that recodes into UTF-8.
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