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Re: Meta-Characters, Special Characters

From: Joshua Cranmer
Subject: Re: Meta-Characters, Special Characters
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 01:44:15 GMT
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20070221)

address@hidden wrote:
Will wrote:
«a) <key> _or_ C-q <key>»

The C-q (or, pressing the Control key down then type q) is the
keyboard shortcut to invoke the command quoted-insert.  It is a
general a way to allow you to input any non-printable characters. This
facility usually don't exist in other text editors. In popular text
editor such as Microsoft Word or Mac's Application, you usally bring
up a window showing all the special characters, then press a button to
insert the char you want.

I would not go so far as to call Microsoft Word and Mac's Application "popular text editor [sic]"; I believe the proper term is "WYSIWYG word processors." Try programming in Word and then see if you would still claim that it is a text editor.

« b) C-q C-[, C-q C-m, C-q C-j, C-q C-i»

When speaking of non-printable characters, the context is a character
set standard. Implicitly, we are talking about ASCII, and this applies

Not technically. Implicitly, on any *NIX machine newer than, say, 2000, it implicitly refers to Utf-8, and Windows on English (or other Latin-based configuration, presumably) it would be ISO-8859-1 or Cp1252.

« c) \e, \r, \n, \t »

This is a ad-hoc set of input and display representation for a few non-
printable characters. This set is started by the motherfucking unix

Watch your language here!
tech geeking morons, and by its free and speedy nature as cigarette
given to children, today has spread to many languages (Perl, Java, C+
+, C#, Python, JavaScript ...) and is a de facto standard. The damage
is to such a degree that the general concept of unprintable
characters, their representation, and their method of input, all
treated in one systematic, simple way, are not in the consciousness of
average industrial programers.

Far from it. Excusing your depressing lack of hyphens and incorrect spelling of simple words, the slash-character is neither ad-hoc nor damage-inducing. Because there are several non-standard ways to input control codes (not non-printable; HT prints something as much as ' ' does), the people who wrote the original C specification (not "unix tech geeking [sic]") decided to include such control codes as standard character references. The use of '\' as a control character makes perfect sense, as it tends to be rarely used in everyday stuff, and it already is a control character (think macros). Many of the languages cited -- although, interestingly enough, not C -- take as their source the B/CPL syntax, a.k.a. C syntax, to provide a familiar backdrop to new programmers.

Finally, I would like to address your idiotic usage of newsgroups. You are cross-posting a message about EMACS syntax to two (2) emacs newsgroups, a LISP group (I can sort of understand that), and a Perl and Java newsgroup. Well, at least you're cross-posting.

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