[Python-3000] pep 3131 again

Mike Klaas mike.klaas at gmail.com
Thu May 17 04:58:39 CEST 2007

On 16-May-07, at 6:06 PM, tomer filiba wrote:
> === help people who can't type english ===
> since the keywords remain ASCII, along with stdlib and all other major
> third party libs -- how does that help the english-illiterate  
> programmer?
>     import random
>     満は = range(100)
>     random.shuffle(満は )
>     未 = 満は.pop(7)
>     if len(未) > 58:
>         print "ラーになる!!!" #  מה זה השטויות  
> האלה בכל מקרה?
> apart from excessive visual noise, the amount of *latin*  
> identifiers and
> keywords is not negligible. if all you're trying to save is coming  
> up with
> english names for your functions, than that's okay, but saying
> "japanese people have a hard time coding in the latin alphabet"
> does not withstand practical usage.

It will always be harder for non-english-speaking people to learn an  
english-derived programming language.  It is somewhat specious to  
equate the difficulty of learning the keywords and (some of the)  
standard library with the difficulty of using latin completely.

Consider that for many language which aren't as pseudocodal as  
python, there is already a need to learn arbitrary symbols.  $,%,@  
have special meaning in perl, "car/cdr" in lisp, '!/&&/||/~' in c...  
these finite sets of symbols are necessary for english-speaking  
people to learn, and non-english-speaking people would (I imagine)  
apply similar rules for learning the keywords of python.

Imagine if python keywords were in english, but written using the  
phonetic symbols.  It would take a while to get used to the different  
keywords, as would learning any new symbols.  It might even be  
extremely difficult.  However, the difficulty would not be the same  
as learning to quickly write and understand english words written  
phonetically (which would be required if the phonetic alphabet were  
the canonical characters of python symbols).

I don't have experience learning to program in a foreign language,  
but it seems evident to me that the two levels of familiarity are  
substantially diffierent.


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