[Python-3000] Support for PEP 3131

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Mon May 14 03:51:40 CEST 2007

I respectfully disagree with the conclusion you draw from the same
data. I don't think either of us can say anything that will satisfy
the other.


On 5/13/07, Guillaume Proux <gproux+py3000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> > > Interestingly, this is *not* a well known fact. I have asked 2
> > > friend-of-mine seasoned Java programmers and they were *amazed* that
> > > this is supported.
> > Well, maybe we should add it to Python as a secret feature. :-) :-) :-)
> But they also said that:
> 1) they wish they would have known earlier...
> 2) would start using this immediatly for their own small projects
> > >  see e.g. http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200107/msg00254.html
> > I imagine the situation there is sufficiently different though; XML is
> > data, not code.
> I wish you had enough time to read some of the posts linked from the
> above URL. In particular, you can see the viewpoint of some Japanese
> people on the ability for them to describe data structures (which is
> really a programming concept) in their own words.
> > I realize you've added a smiley, but please, don't propose new
> > features for a release that's already been released. The release
> > managers will put you in jail and not let you out until 4.0 has been
> > released. :-)
> eheheheh :)
> > Because most people still use systems that have very inadequate tools
> > for handling non-ASCII text, especially non-Latin-1 text. For example,
> > at work I use Ubuntu, a modern Linux distribution actively supported
> > by a company headquartered in South-Africa. Their main market lies
> > outside Europe and North America. And yet, there is no standard way to
> > enter non-ASCII characters as basic as c-cedilla or u-umlaut; the main
> I also use Ubuntu at home.
> Regarding your issue: hum? you can change keyboard layout (I even
> think it does affect the current input system immediatly). Also there
> is a number of tools like gucharmap
> (http://gucharmap.sourceforge.net/shots/shot-003.png) that enables you
> to copy paste rare characters.
> > tools I use (Emacs, Firefox and bash running in a terminal emulator)
> > all have different input methods, different ideas of the default
> > character encoding, and so on. It's a crapshoot whether
> > copy-and-pasting even the simplest non-ASCII text (like the name of
> > PEP 3131's author :-) between any two of these will work.
> Ubuntu Feisty (and I think Edgy too) default on UTF8 everywhere and I
> have never had any issue using French, Japanese and English anywhere.
> Windows came to this maturity point about 5-6 years ago.
> > I see program code as a tool for communication between people. Note
> > how you & I are using English in this thread even though it is not the
> > mother tongue for either of us. So we use English, since we can both
> > read and write it reasonably well. This is the *only* way that
> > programmers raised in different countries can exchange code at all.
> I *totally* agree with you, you sometimes need to go down to the
> lowest common denominator (with tongue in cheek)... But I still do not
> understand that you are not happy to see people become more productive
> with Python when there is no need of international exchange: the small
> (or large) internal application,  the throw-away script, the ability
> to extend C programs with a scripting language that is respectful of
> the native language of the (mostly-non programmer) user etc...
> > gets 1000x better, but we're not there yet -- try translate.google.com
> > if you don't believe me.)
> I hope you get bonus points at work for mentioning this one. Believe
> it or not, translate.google.com is my friend!
> > You're stretching my words there. The issue if translation hadn't
> Clearly you could not think of this issue, but I am not stretching
> your word. I was just reusing some of the *strong* points you made why
> you thought Python was such a great invention of yours (and don't get
> me wrong, we all love it!). I was just applying those great points to
> this new issue which I believe fully deserve more attention.
> > crossed my mind when I wrote that (over 10 years ago) and the tools
> > *really* weren't ready then. And regarding readability, if all the
> The tools are ready now. We live in a mostly fully unicode world now,
> and we just agreed in another PEP that the default source encoding of
> files will be UTF8...
> > programmers in the world agreed to use broken English, the readability
> > of their code to each other would be much better dan als we allemaal
> > in onze eigen taal schreven.
> The funny thing is that I can read this sentence very well: my life
> was spent surrounded by latin characters. I can even probably
> understand it as I can speak some German too.
> allesmaal -> Jedesmal -> always
> onze -> eine -> its
> eigen -> eigen -> own
> taal ->  sprache -> language
> schreven -> schreiben -> write
> My cultural background can help me decipher VERY QUICKLY what you
> wrote. But think of the 7 years old Japanese child. They are not
> taught latin characters really before they will seriously learn
> English... but this is the year I started programming (by copying
> french listing of programs for Thomson TO7-70 computers... oh my
> god!).
> Regards,
> Guillaume

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)

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