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

From: James K. Lowden
Subject: Re: [OFFTOPIC] Re: Invoking a function from a list of functions
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2018 17:23:58 -0500

On Sat, 17 Nov 2018 07:59:49 -0800 (PST)
Rusi <> wrote:

> 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?

Exactly my point.  

> IOW You are already using a non-trivial input method.

Actually, it is a trival input method.  Nearly all keyboards have
symbol emblazoned on each key; exceptions are rare [1].  The user
expects each key to produce one of two characters associated with each
key.  That, I would say, is about as trivial as it gets.  

Since we're ostensibly talking about emacs, I'll point you to M-x.
Despite emacs' generous capacity to overload keys with meaning,
ultimate just the functions of the editor overwhelm the available
keys.  Where the world are you going to put 150,000 code points when
nroff mode steals M-s from occur to center a line?  

The moment you move from a 1:1 correspondence to key to character to
N:1, the possibilities do become endless.  The "compose" key in X, Tex,
and troff are examples.  But they are also daunting.  Just as
alphabetic languages use letters to form words, such input systems use
keys to form characters.  It's a new language.  

I'm simply suggesting that for most programmers, the beauty of reading
a non-alphabetic programming language is not worth the hassle of
learning to type it.  As evidence, I give you APL: every successor
dropped the exotic character set, despite being invented since the
advent of Unicode and bitmapped displays.  



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