PEP 263 status check

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Sat Aug 7 00:49:24 CEST 2004

"Martin v. Löwis" <martin at> wrote in message
news:4113D8DF.8080106 at
> If you think that only Unicode literals and comments should be
> allowed to contain non-ASCII, I disagree: At some point, I'd
> like to propose support for non-ASCII in identifiers. This would
> allow people to make identifiers that represent words from their
> native language, which is helpful for people who don't speak
> English well.

Off the main topic of this thread, but...

While sympathizing with this notion, I have hitherto opposed it on the
basis that this would lead to code that could only be read by people within
each language group.  But, rereading your idea, I realize that this
objection would be overcome by a reader that displayed for each Unicode
char (codepoint?) not its native glyph but a roman transliteration.  As far
as I know, such tranliterations, more or less standardized, exist at least
for all major alphabets and syllable systems.  Indeed, I would find
Japanese code displayed as

for sushi in michiro.readlines():
  print fuji(sushi)

clearer than 'English' code using identifiers like Q8zB2_0Ol1!

If the Unicode group does not distribute a master roman tranliteration
table at least for alphabetic symbols, I would consider it a lack that
hinders adoption of Unicode.

Some writing systems also have different number digits, which could also be
used natively and tranliterated.  A Unicode Python could also use a set of
user codepoints as an alternate coding of keywords for almost complete
nativification.  I believe the math symbols are pretty universal (but could
be educated if not).

Terry J. Reedy

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