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

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Mon Oct 31 16:51:13 CET 2005

Adam Olsen wrote:
> On 10/30/05, François Pinard <pinard at iro.umontreal.ca> wrote:
>>All development is done in house by French people.  All documentation,
>>external or internal, comments, identifier and function names,
>>everything is in French.  Some of the developers here have had a long
>>programming life, while they only barely read English.  It is surely
>>a constant frustration, for some of us, having to mangle identifiers by
>>ravelling out their necessary diacritics.  It does not look good, it
>>does not smell good, and in many cases, mangling identifiers
>>significantly decreases program legibility.
> Hear, hear!  Not all the world uses english, and restricting them to
> latin characters simply means it's not readable in any language.  It
> doesn't make it any more readable for those of us who only understand
> english.
> +1 on internationalized identifiers.
While I agree with the sentiments expressed, I think we should not 
underestimate the practical problems that moving away fr

Therefore, if such steps are really going to be considered, I would 
really like to see them introduced in such a way that no breakage occurs 
for existing users, even the parochial ones who feel they (and their 
programs) don't need to understand anything but ASCII.

If this means starting out with the features conditionally compiled, 
despite the added cost of the #ifdefs that would thereby be engendered I 
think that would be a good idea.

We can fix their programs by making Unicode the default string type, but 
it will take much longer to fix their thinking.

Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC                     www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006                  www.python.org/pycon/

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