[Python-3000] Support for PEP 3131

BJörn Lindqvist bjourne at gmail.com
Fri May 25 11:55:58 CEST 2007

On 5/25/07, Josiah Carlson <jcarlson at uci.edu> wrote:
> "Martin v. Löwis" <martin at v.loewis.de> wrote:
> > Ka-Ping Yee schrieb:
> > > On Fri, 25 May 2007, [ISO-8859-1] "Martin v. L�wis" wrote:
> > >> Please *do* consider the needs of the people who want to actively
> > >> use the feature as well. Otherwise, you have no chance of understanding
> > >> what will make everyone happy.
> > >
> > > People who want to use the feature can turn it on.  I don't see what's
> > > so unreasonable about that.
> >
> > People who want to use the feature would have to know that it is only
> > present if you turn it on. It's like saying "you can use hexadecimal
> > integer literals, but you have to turn them on". This wouldn't work:
> > people try to use them, find out that it won't work, and assume
> > that it's not supported.
> Are we going to stop offering informational error messages to people?
> Because an informational error message could go a long way towards
> helping people to understand what is going on.

I think you are forgetting who this feature is intended for. I can't
for my life imagine that any free software project would start using
non-ASCII identifiers, nor any professional software development
company either. Decent programmers learn and use English because that
is the lingua franca of the computer world.

Newbies, on the other hand, would maybe appreciate being able to write:

Örjan = 42
Åsa = 12
Pär = 12
genomsnittsÅlder = (Örjan + Åsa + Pär) / 3
print genomsnittsÅlder

instead of using the (in Swedish) less readable identifiers Orjan,
Asa, Par and genomsnitssAlder.

If Python required a switch for such a program to run, then this
feature would be totally wasted on them. They might use an IDE,
program in notepad.exe and dragging the file to the python.exe icon or
not even know about cmd.exe or what a command line switch is. An error
message, even an informal one, isn't easy to understand if you don't
know English.

mvh Björn

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