[Python-Dev] Divorcing str and unicode (no more implicitconversions).

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Wed Oct 26 08:09:33 CEST 2005

Josiah Carlson wrote:
> In this case it's not just a misreading, the characters look identical! 
> When is an 'E' not an 'E'?  When it is an Epsilon or Ie.  Saying what
> characters will or will not be used as identifiers, when those
> characters are keys on a keyboard of a specific type, is pretty
> presumptuous.

Why is that rude and disrespectful? I'm certainly respecting developers
who want to use their scripts for identifiers, or else I would not have
suggested that they could do so.

However, from the experience with my own language, and the three or so
foreign languages I know, I can tell you that people would normally
don't mix identifiers of different scripts.

> Sure, that example was made up, but there are words which have been
> stolen from various languages by english, and you are discounting the
> case of single-letter temporary variables.  Saying what will and won't
> happen over the course of using unicode identifiers is quite the
> prediction.

Sure, people can make mistakes. They get an error, and then will
need to find the cause of the problem. Sometimes, this will be easy,
and sometimes, it will not.

> Indeed, they are similar, but_ different_ in my font as well.  The trick
> is that the glyphs are not different in the case of certain greek or
> cyrillic letters.  They don't just /look/ similar they /are identical/.

This string: "EΕ" is the LATIN CAPITAL LETTER E, followed by the GREEK
CAPITAL LETTER EPSILON. In the font my email composer uses, the E is
slightly larger than the Epsilon - so there /is/ a visual difference.

But even if there isn't: if this was a frequent problem, the name
error could include an alternative representation (say, with Unicode
ordinals for non-ASCII characters) which would give an easy visual

I still doubt that this is a frequent problem, and I don't see any
better grounds for claiming that it is than for claiming that it
is not.


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