[Python-ideas] Visually confusable unicode characters in identifiers

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Tue Oct 2 03:32:06 CEST 2012

On 02/10/12 05:29, Massimo DiPierro wrote:

> it does make sense. The only point I tried to make is that,
> because something is allowed, it does mean it should be
> encouraged. I am sure there are instructors who want to teach
>to code using Japanese of Chinese variable names. Python gives
> them a way to do so. Yet, if they do so, they would be
>isolating their students and their code from the rest of the

People very often over-estimate the cost of that isolation, and
over-value access to the rest of the world.

The average open source piece of software has one, maybe two,
contributors. What do they care if millions of English-speaking
programmers can't contribute when they weren't going to contribute
regardless of the language? Perhaps the convenience of being able
to read your own code in your own native language outweighs the
loss of being able to attract contributors that you can't even
talk to.

And for proprietary software, again it is irrelevant. If a Chinese
company writes Chinese software for Chinese users with Chinese
developers, why would they want to write it in English? Perhaps
they have little choice due to the overwhelming trend towards English
in programming languages, but there's no positive benefit to using
a non-native language.

Quite frankly, and I'm saying this as somebody who only speaks
English, I think that the use of English as the single lingua franca
of computer programming is as unnecessary (and ultimately as harmful)
as the use of Latin and then French as the sole lingua franca of
science and mathematics. I expect that it too will be a passing phase.

By the way, are you familiar with ChinesePython and IronPerunis?



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