Using non-ascii symbols

James Stroud jstroud at
Tue Jan 24 04:16:52 CET 2006

Christoph Zwerschke wrote:
> On the page
> I noticed an interesting suggestion:
> "These operators ≤ ≥ ≠ should be added to the language having the 
> following meaning:
>       <= >= !=
> this should improve readibility (and make language more accessible to 
> beginners).
> This should be an evolution similar to the digraphe and trigraph 
> (digramme et trigramme) from C and C++ languages."
> How do people on this group feel about this suggestion?
> The symbols above are not even latin-1, you need utf-8.
> (There are not many usefuls symbols in latin-1. Maybe one could use × 
> for cartesian products...)
> And while they are better readable, they are not better typable (at 
> least with most current editors).
> Is this idea absurd or will one day our children think that restricting 
> to 7-bit ascii was absurd?
> Are there similar attempts in other languages? I can only think of APL, 
> but that was a long time ago.
> Once you open your mind for using non-ascii symbols, I'm sure one can 
> find a bunch of useful applications. Variable names could be allowed to 
> be non-ascii, as in XML. Think class names in Arabian... Or you could 
> use Greek letters if you run out of one-letter variable names, just as 
> Mathematicians do. Would this be desirable or rather a horror scenario? 
> Opinions?
> -- Christoph

I can't find "≤, ≥, or ≠" on my keyboard.


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