Incomparable abominations

Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters mertz at gnosis.cx
Mon Mar 24 05:58:31 CET 2003


|> the relation "1j < 2j" is self-evident and natural.

"John Roth" <johnroth at ameritech.net> wrote previously:
|That is, however, a border case. Is 1+2j < 2+1j true or false?

True that the latter case has no natural order.  But the former case
does.  Likewise, I find this order natural:

    "A" < "B"

And this order is completely arbitrary:

    u"A" < unicodedata.lookup('HEBREW LETTER ALEF')

In what sense is the Roman alphabet "less than" the Hebrew alphabet?...
I have no hunch at all about where the "A"-like letter in Arabic, Greek,
Cyrillic, etc. would fall in the sequence, FWIW.  Nor for various
A-diacritics that occur in Romanesque and Cryillicish alphabets.  I
expect the order to be stable, but there is no "natural" answer to the
order.

And yet, both the character/unicode comparisons provide answers, while
the the complex comparisons raise exceptions.

To paraphrase the Timbot, Python seems to be aiming for a "principle of
maximum surprise!"

Yours, Lulu...

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