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RE: [Emacsweblogs] i18n

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [Emacsweblogs] i18n
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 13:36:39 -0800

> >> It would be easy to change the reader such that _"foo" is 
> >> automatically read as (_ "foo"), just like we do for 'foo 
> >> -> (quote foo).
> >
> > Oh sure. And break existing code.
> I grepped for this sequence before sending the previous 
> email.  So while theoretically there may be code out there
> that would be affected, I don't think such code really exists
> in practice.

So should we specialize the Lisp reader to only support whatever is currently
found in the existing Emacs source code, disallowing other legitimate Lisp
syntax because it doesn't "really exist in practice"?

> > Lisp (in general) has always read + eval'd a sexp such as (list
> > 'foo_"bar") to produce the list (foo_ "bar"). You would 
> > have it return (foo (_ "bar"))?
> Actually, I'd probably have it return the same as now because this _
> appears in the "middle" (well, the end) of a symbol.  This 
> said, I do not think there is this kind of code in the wild either,

So you would change the Lisp reader to do something quite different from
traditional Lisp readers, because you don't think the code they support is, in
this case, likely to be encountered. That's your argument, apparently.

You still haven't given a good reason for making such a change:

> > But why?  What's really gained by such a change?

So far your argument seems to be:

1. It's easy to do, so let's do it.

2. There's no existing code that uses the currently supported syntax, so let's
change it.

By those same arguments alone, we could justify all kinds of nutty reader
changes. How about a _good_ reason? What is to be gained by it?

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