unicode in source [was Re: lexer puzzle]

Iavor Diatchki diatchki at cse.ogi.edu
Sun Oct 5 11:03:41 EDT 2003


Frank Atanassow wrote:
> On vrijdag, sep 26, 2003, at 09:16 Europe/Amsterdam, John Meacham wrote:
>> On Fri, Sep 26, 2003 at 08:59:12AM +0200, Ketil Z. Malde wrote:
>>> I think there is a problem with too much overloaded syntax.  Perhaps
>>> it is time to put non-ASCII characters to good use?
>>> For instance, function composition could use the degree sign: °
>>> and leave the . for module qualification.
>> why not the actual functional composition operator: · or ∘
>> we could also make good use of ∀ ∃ ⇒ ← ∧ ∨  and all the other fun
>> mathematical operators.
> This is very readable, but not very writable.
> Until I get a keyboard with a ∀ key, I would prefer to restrict the 
> syntax to ASCII/whatever and simply make it the editor's responsibility 
> to display source code using special characters.
actually it is not that hard to write unicode characters.  after all 
there are no capital letter keys on the keyboard either, but we can 
write them.  i use vim and at least with it it quite easy to "teach" the 
editor to recognize certain sequences of characters and replace them 
with the appropriate mathematical symbol. a similar thing happens when 
you write Isabelle theories with x-symbol, and it really works quite 
nicely.   i think it would be nice to allow programmers to write unicode 
for what is now done with sequences of ascii chars (not replacing the 
current symbols, but adding additional syntax).


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| Iavor S. Diatchki, Ph.D. student               |
| Department of Computer Science and Engineering |
| School of OGI at OHSU                          |
| http://www.cse.ogi.edu/~diatchki               |

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