Proposal: allow '?' and '!' in identifiers

Michael Hudson mwh21 at
Sun Feb 25 13:02:28 EST 2001

jcm <grumble at> writes:

> Erik Max Francis <max at> wrote:
> > Nathaniel Gray wrote:
> >> Why not be hardcore and allow both?
> > Because using a suffixed p to indicate predicates, if that is your
> > liking, is already supported by the language.  Allowing ? in identifiers
> > is not, and would require all sorts of weird parser logic to allow it in
> > identifiers but not break backward compatibility.  It is simply not
> > worth it.
> I understand that you dislike the idea of allowing '?' in identifiers.
> But it would not necessarily require "all sorts of weird parser
> logic".  I expect it's a simple change to the lexer.  

It is.  It takes about a minute if you know where to look (which is in
Parser/tokenizer.c).  I did it once, but seem to have lost the patch.


  ARTHUR:  Yes.  It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing
           cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door
           saying "Beware of the Leopard".
                    -- The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Episode 1

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