Allowing non-ASCII identifiers

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at
Fri Feb 13 09:49:04 CET 2004

Joe Mason wrote:
> If non-ASCII characters are allowed, they'll be used frivolously.
> Somebody will put "et tu, Bruté" in a comment

People can (and do) already put their natural language into comments;
whether or not non-ASCII characters are allowed in identifiers is
irrelevant for that usage.

Also, people don't need "Unicode support" to read those comments.
They just need an editor that can display the character set that
the people wrote their comments in.

Assuming you speak the language in which the comments are written,
you very likely have a text editor which can display them. Or you
use IDLE.

>>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?

And that wouldn't change: There would be only a single way to do

import resumé

Currently, there is no way, which is less than "only one way".

> 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.

And indeed, using non-ASCII characters in identifiers is simple and


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