[Haskell-cafe] Unicode Haskell source -- Yippie!

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at gmail.com
Sun Apr 27 15:32:49 UTC 2014

On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 7:45 AM, Rustom Mody <rustompmody at gmail.com> wrote:

> 1. I'd like to underscore the 'arbitrary'.  Why is ASCII any less
> arbitrary -- apart from an increasingly irrelevant historical accident --
> than Arabic, Bengali, Cyrillic, Deseret? [Hint: Whats the A in ASCII?]  By
> contrast math may at least have some pretensions to universality?

Math notations are not as universal as many would like to think, sadly.

And I am not sure the historical accident is really irrelevant; as the same
"accident" was involved in most of the computer languages and protocols we
use daily, I would not be at all surprised to find that there are subtle
dependencies buried in the whole mess --- similar to how (most... sigh)
humans pick up language and culture signals as children too young to apply
any kind of critical analysis to it, and can have real problems trying to
eradicate or modify them later. (Yes, languages can be fixed. But how many
tools do you use when working with them? It's almost certainly more than
the ones that immediately come to mind or are listed on e.g. Hackage. In
particular, that ligature may be great in your editor and unfortunate when
you pop a terminal and grep for it --- especially if you start extending
this to other languages so you need a different set of ligatures [a
different font!] for each language....)

brandon s allbery kf8nh                               sine nomine associates
allbery.b at gmail.com                                  ballbery at sinenomine.net
unix, openafs, kerberos, infrastructure, xmonad        http://sinenomine.net
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