On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 7:44 PM, Steven D'Aprano <steve@pearwood.info> wrote:
- suppose that reading λ has a *tiny* benefit of 1% over "lambda"
  (for those who have learned what it means);
- but typing it is (lets say) 50 times harder than typing "lambda";
- but we read code 50 times as often as we type it;
- so the total benefit (50*1.01 - 50) is positive.

I actually *do* think λ is a little bit more readable.  And I have no idea how to type it directly on my El Capitan system with the ABC Extended keyboard.  But I still get 100% of the benefit in readability simply by using vim's conceal feature.  If I used a different editor I'd have to hope for a similar feature (or program it myself), but this is purely a display question.  Similarly, I think syntax highlighting makes my code much more readable, but I don't want colors for keywords built into the language.  That is, and should remain, a matter of tooling not core language (I don't want https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ColorForth for Python).

FWIW, my conceal configuration is at link I give in a moment.  I've customized a bunch of special stuff besides lambda, take it or leave it:


Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food
from the bellies of the hungry; books from the hands of the
uneducated; technology from the underdeveloped; and putting
advocates of freedom in prisons.  Intellectual property is
to the 21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.