character syntax

Ketil Z. Malde
08 Feb 2002 11:09:59 +0100

Ian Zimmerman <> writes:

> Why in the world did the designers of Haskell permit the ' character
> to be both a prime (part of identifiers) and the single-character
> quote?

Personally, I think the Haskell syntax is beautiful.  Programs are
readable, yet concise.  That's more important to me than correct
parenthesis matching.

> Didn't they realize what they were doing to would-be
> intelligent editors?  Or were they just a bunch of rabid ed users?

The compiler obviously have little trouble separating character
literals from primed names.  If Emacs has a problem, I would question
the "intelligence" of Emacs.  Shouldn't an "intelligent" editor have
sufficient parsing capabilities to deal with this?

(BTW, I'm a happy Emacs user -- e.g. see my headers -- and I find the
modes available pretty much sufficient.)

> Has anyone found a way to deal with this in Emacs, _correctly_?

I would suggest gathering up all the syntactics that causes trouble,
and posting to an Emacs newsgroup or mailing list.

If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants