Allowing non-ASCII identifiers

Joe Mason joe at notcharles.ca
Thu Feb 12 10:40:13 CET 2004


In article <c0f8h6$8e4$01$1 at news.t-online.com>, Martin v. Löwis wrote:
> It is the case that some people would have problems invoking certain
> functions. Why would that be a catastrophy?

Oh, it wouldn't be.  Not being catastrophic doesn't make it good.

> Authors of Python software should make a choice whether they prefer
> readability of the source code, or accessibility to everyone.

Yeah, they should, but they won't.  They'll go nuts with the cool
features and not stop to think about the consequences.  Those of us
stuck cleaning up after them will then be hindered by the cool features
that don't work.  History has shown us this.

If non-ASCII characters are allowed, they'll be used frivolously.
Somebody will put "et tu, Bruté" in a comment, or start their career
planning package with "import resumé", and these otherwise working
programs would break for people without Unicode support.

> Python should not police that decision for the developer.

Why not?  It polices everything else.  Isn't Python still the "only one
way to do it" language?

If you were suggesting this for Perl or Ruby, I'd be all in favour (in fact,
it'd be especially apropriate for Ruby).  But in Python it's perfectly
appropriate to restrict something that many people would find useful in
favour of simplicity and consistency.

Joe



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