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

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Fri Oct 28 09:44:42 CEST 2005

>>>>> "Neil" == Neil Hodgson <nyamatongwe at gmail.com> writes:

    Neil> Most variable names were poorly chosen with s, p, q, fla
    Neil> (boolean=flag) and flafla being popular. When I asked some
    Neil> Japanese coders why they didn't use Japanese words expressed
    Neil> in ASCII (Romaji), their response was that it was a really
    Neil> weird idea.

That may be due to the fact that two-ideograph words will often have a
dozen homonyms, and sometimes several dozen.  I sometimes use kanji in
not-for-general-distribution Emacs LISP code when 2 kanji will give as
expressive an identifier as 10 or 15 ASCII characters.

    Neil> This is anecdotal but it appears to me that transliterations
    Neil> are not commonly used apart from learning languages

In everyday usage, they're used a lot for identifier-like purposes
like corporate logos.

The only large corpuses of Japanese-oriented Japanese-authored code
I'm familiar with are the input methods Wnn, Canna, and SKK, and these
invariably use transliterated Japanese grammatical terms for parser
components[1], although there are perfectly good equivalents in English,
at least (I think they may actually be standardized by the Ministry of

There's also an Emacs library, edict.el, that uses _mixed_
ASCII-hiragana-kanji identifiers.  (ISTR that was done just to prove a
point---the person who wrote it was an American, I
believe---definitely not Japanese.)

[1]  Japanese does not require word delimiters, so input methods must
have grammatical knowledge to choose among large numbers of homonyms.

School of Systems and Information Engineering http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
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