-----Original Message----- From: Python-ideas [mailto:python-ideas-bounces+tritium- firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Paul Moore Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2016 8:22 AM To: Stephen J. Turnbull email@example.com Cc: Python-Ideas firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [Python-ideas] Non-ASCII in Python syntax? [was: Null coalescing operator]
My point wasn't so much about dealing with the character set of Unicode, as it was about physical entry of non-native text. For example, on my (UK) keyboard, all of the printed keycaps are basically used. And yet, I can't even enter accented letters from latin-1 with a standard keypress, much less extended Unicode. Of course it's possible to get those characters (either by specialised mappings in an editor, or by using an application like Character Map) but there's nothing guaranteed to work across all applications. That's a hardware and OS limitation - the hardware only has so many keys to use, and the OS (Windows, in my case) doesn't support global key mapping (at least not to my knowledge, in a user-friendly manner - I'm excluding writing my own keyboard driver :-)) My interest in East Asian experience is at least in part because the "normal" character sets, as I understand it, are big enough that it's impractical for a keyboard to include a plausible basic range of characters, so I'm curious as to what the physical process is for typing from a vocabulary of thousands of characters on a sanely-sized keyboard.
Just picking a nit, here, windows will happily let you do silly things like hook 14 keyboards up and let you map all of emoji to them. Sadly, this requires lua.
In mentioning emoji, my main point was that "average computer users" are more and more likely to want to use emoji in general applications (emails, web applications, even documents) - and if a sufficiently general solution for that problem is found, it may provide a solution for the general character-entry case. (Also, I couldn't resist the irony of using a :-) smiley while referring to emoji...) But it may be that app-specific solutions (e.g., the smiley menu in Skype) are sufficient for that use case. Or the typical emoji user is likely to be using a tablet/phone rather than a keyboard, and mobile OSes have included an emoji menu in their on-screen keyboards.
Coming back to a more mundane example, if I need to type a character like é in an email, I currently need to reach for Character Map and cut and paste it. The same is true if I have to type it into the console. That's a sufficiently annoying stumbling block that I'm inclined to avoid it - using clumsy workarounds like referring to "the OP" rather than using their name. I'd be fairly concerned about introducing non-ASCII syntax into Python while such stumbling blocks remain - the amount of code typed outside of an editor (interactive prompt, emails, web applications like Jupyter) mean that editor-based workarounds like custom mappings are only a partial solution.
But maybe you are right, and it's just my age showing. The fate of APL probably isn't that relevant these days :-) (or ☺ if you prefer...)
Paul _______________________________________________ Python-ideas mailing list Pythonemail@example.com https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-ideas Code of Conduct: http://python.org/psf/codeofconduct/