[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ce1d38: Use curved quotes in core elisp diagno

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ce1d38: Use curved quotes in core elisp diagnostics
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 12:55:37 +0900

Dmitry Gutov writes:

 > Unicode characters are good, we should use them in text, but not in the 
 > basic syntax of the language or its environment.

Oh, so you want a computer language where characters are used only in
strings?  Good trick, that.

Seriously, now that we do have Unicode, and good implementations of it
(although Emacs's isn't complete yet, it's certainly usable), there's
really no excuse for _a priori_ restricting the character set used in
a computer language.  Yes, discipline is necessary: the *size* of the
character set (aside from identifier constituents) should not be
expanded without good reason.  But which characters are used shouldn't
be decided on the basis of historically limited charsets.  They should
be chosen because they are appropriate to their syntactic roles.

Backward compatibility is important.  The old-timers have a point --
the ASCII workarounds we've used for decades still work, and adding
new synonyms or changing the syntax to substitute more accurate
versions is costly to experienced users and developers.  I personally
agree with Paul -- the appropriate place to experiment with this kind
of thing is with string conventions that don't change the meaning of
Lisp programs per se, although they do affect parsing of output and
editing Lisp programs.  It's all about eating your own dogfood.  But
although I like these changes, they are hardly a no-brainer.

On the other hand, not liking input methods?  That's not admissible:
Emacs is the world's biggest, most complex input method, and that is
its primary mission.  If you can handle Emacs, you can learn a couple
dozen additional keystroke combinations to input new syntactically
significant characters (and surely the extended repertoire will
include only a few such for many years -- "a couple dozen" is a
generous concession to reactionary fears).

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]