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

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ce1d38: Use curved quotes in core elisp diagnostics
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:51:45 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:40.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/40.0

On 08/18/2015 06:55 AM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

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.

In theory.

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.

Historically limited or not, my keyboard, in English layout, only contains a given set of characters. And those are the ones we're comfortable typing.

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).

Why would I want to handle them? Having to use input methods adds a certain constant overhead, motoric and mental.

That might be fine for a language like APL, where you're forced to use an input method almost everywhere. There, you sacrifice the ease of input for succinctness across the board. That won't happen for Emacs Lisp.

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