My vim configuration for a year or two has looked something like this (the screenshot doesn't show the empty set symbol, but that's part of my conceal configuration: http://gnosis.cx/bin/.vim/after/syntax/python.vim).

On Sun, Oct 30, 2016 at 7:13 AM, Chris Angelico <rosuav@gmail.com> wrote:
On Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 12:39 AM, Paul Moore <p.f.moore@gmail.com> wrote:
> It's certainly not difficult, in principle. I have (had, I lost it in
> an upgrade recently...) a little AutoHotkey program that interpreted
> Vim-style digraphs in any application that needed them. But my point
> was that we don't want to require people to write such custom
> utilities, just to be able to write Python code. Or is the feeling
> that it's acceptable to require that?

There's a chicken-and-egg problem. So long as most people don't have
tools like that, a language that requires them is going to be very
annoying - but so long as no major language uses such characters,
there's no reason for developers to set up those kinds of tools.

Possibly the best way is a gentle introduction of alternative
syntaxes. Since Python currently has no "empty set display" syntax,
that seems like a perfect starting point. You can always type "set()",
but that involves an actual function call; using ∅ gives a small
performance boost, eliminates the risk of shadowing, etc, etc. All
minor points, but could be convenient enough. Also, if repr(set())
returns "∅", it'll be easy for anyone to get hold of the character for
copy/paste.

As of 2016, I think it's not acceptable to *require* this, but it may
be time to start making use of it, retaining ASCII-only digraphs and
trigraphs, the way C has alternative spelling for braces and so on.
Then time passes, most people will be comfortable using the characters
themselves, and the digraphs/trigraphs can be deprecated, with new
syntax not being given any.

Pipe dream?

ChrisA
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