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Re: ?\_ patch

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: ?\_ patch
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 09:02:04 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

On Fri, Feb 07, 2003 at 03:52:02PM +0100, Kim F. Storm wrote:
> > Because #\SPC is actually pretty self-explanatory whereas ?\s isn't.
> IMO, \s is just as self-explanatory as \t, \n, and \r.

The latter are `self-explanatory' only because they're used in C, and so are
very familar to programmers.  \s is not.

> > I thought about that too, but I think #\SPC is better, because the `\'
> > leaves a bit of whitespace between itself and the following character so
> > the `SPC' stands out quite distinctly.  `?' on the other isn't visually
> > distinct, so #?SPC looks like a bit of a muddle.
> Then what about simply using ?SPC, ?TAB, etc.

No, you're missing the point.  My object to `?' is that the `?' is not
visually distinct from the `S' -- they tend to `run into' each other. 
`\', on the other hand has a bunch of whitespace on the right side of it's
glyph, and so is much more visually distinct from the following character.

So getting rid of the `#' doesn't help at all.

Morever, `#' is _good_ becaues it's the general lisp syntax for special
syntax, so a lisp programmer will be much more likely to realize what's going
on (if he's unfamiliar with this particular bit of syntax) if he sees #\SPC
than if he sees ?SPC.

> Can anyone think of existing code which will be broken by that
> approach?

I don't know, but I think it doesn't matter; we should just use a `#' escape.

I'd rather be consing.

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