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Re: [OFFTOPIC] Re: Invoking a function from a list of functions

From: Rusi
Subject: Re: [OFFTOPIC] Re: Invoking a function from a list of functions
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2018 07:59:49 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Friday, November 16, 2018 at 10:10:05 PM UTC+5:30, James K. Lowden wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Nov 2018 18:48:53 -0800 (PST)
> Rusi  wrote:
> > Some corresponding python thoughts and facts:
> >
> I think you're overlooking the paucity of keyboard characters.  I doubt
> many programmers want to learn an input system to allow them to
> represent, say, u2208.  Never mind *one* input system; you have to
> explain how to enter that symbol under Windows, on a Macintosh, in X,
> and in a VT100 emulator, if not some combination of those.  

If you look at your keyboard I am ready to bet that 
- in the middle row on the left side you have a key that looks like ‘A’
- when you type it you get a char that looks more like ‘a’
- and only with the SHIFT-A chord generates an ‘A’.
IOW You are already using a non-trivial input method.

We tend to say “I am using an ASCII keyboard”. In loose informal language this 
is ok
However technically there is no such thing as an ASCII keyboard. What we call an
ASCII keyboard is most likely us-104 ... something that does not have a one to 
one relation with ASCII.

You can see this more clearly from the hardware angle:
What the keyboard sends to the computer when you type the ‘A’ key is a scan 
and has no relation whatever with A/a characters.

And once you see
1 You are in any case using an input method
2 Which is user-choosable at OS/X/emacs etc level in any modern system
  it becomes natural to ask: Is the default best for me/my current usage?

At this point the real difficult questions start popping up:

To type αβςδεφγηιθκλμνοπχρστυvωξψζ I just typed abcdefgjijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
with the greek(-babel) input method in emacs.
This may be a reasonable choice if I were Homer(!)
But in the more likely case of being a typical mathematician who sprinkles 
greek on his writings without a clue about greek, this would be highly 
inconvenient. Tex input method would likely be better
So the real question is this: If Unicode has a 150,000 code points and a 
keyboard can be setup to input a few hundred (say) chars conveniently which 
should I assign for my convenience?

This is a real hard question…
The only answer I am sure of is a negative one — the default is almost 
certainly sub-optimal for almost everyone: On my keyboard I see two sets of 
digits, two sets of arrow keys, two sets of +-*/.
Two minus signs and no em,en dash! Seriously!
And above the digits I see !@#$%^&*()
I cant see why I would like to use any of these — other than !() — except for 
decades of ASCII overloading and misuse (perlish!) bad habits
And ignore all these beauties!

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