[I18n-sig] Strawman Proposal (2): Encoding attributes

Tim Peters tim.one@home.com
Sun, 11 Feb 2001 03:34:32 -0500

[Paul Prescod]
> I'm not personally willing to design in such a limitiation. I have seen
> a lot of code that mixes other languages with English. e.g.:
> http://starship.python.net/pipermail/python-de/2000q3/000597.html
> I don't think this guy is doing anything wrong. If a Japansese person
> asks me if they could do the same I would say: "Not now, but hopefully
> someday."

But of course they could:  "this guy" you point to as evidence used plain
7-bit ASCII, writing an approximation to German in that. *That's* certainly
widespread, in and out of the Python world.  But more than that isn't.

Again, pick a language that already supports what you suggest and find some
evidence that it's *used*.  As I said before, I've seen no evidence that it
is, and the evidence of languages designed by non-Euros suggests it's rare
even for them to cater to these complications (and, yes, the Java Character
class's .isIdentifierIgnorable(), .isUnicodeIdentifierPart(),
.isUnicodeIdentifierStart() etc methods are indeed complications:  write a
regexp to match a valid Unicode identifier; write a UserDict that manages to
collapse valid Unicode identifiers that differ only in ignorable characters
into a single key; etc; explain to users that their little source-munging
tools need to take all of that into account in the New World).

> ...
> People keep bringing up this issue of keywords. I've never disputed that
> the keywords should always be English.

What about the names of builtins and std library names and the names of
classes and functions and methods and attributes in the std libraries?  I
mentioned keywords in the context of all of those.

> There are a lot of people who write code that will never be
> seen by a speaker of an ASCII-compatible language. Why should they be
> forced to write it in ASCII?

"Forced" presumes it's against their will.  That's what I question.  There
is nothing more Eurocentric than to embark on unilateral crusades for the
purported benefit of non-Euros who aren't asking for help <0.7 wink>.

it's-a-programming-language-not-a-word-processor-ly y'rs  - tim