Time we switched to unicode? (was Explanation of this Python language feature?)

Rustom Mody rustompmody at gmail.com
Tue Mar 25 05:08:29 CET 2014


On Tuesday, March 25, 2014 9:29:57 AM UTC+5:30, Mark H. Harris wrote:
> On 3/24/14 10:51 PM, Chris Angelico wrote:
> > Supporting both may look tempting, but you effectively create two ways
> > of spelling the exact same thing; it'd be like C's trigraphs. Do you
> > know what ??= is,

> This was a fit for me, back in the day IBM (system36 & system38). When 
> we started supporting the C compiler (ha!) and non of our 5250 terminals 
> could provide the C punctuation we take for granted today--- so we 
> invented tri-graphs for { and } and others. It was a hoot.

> I personally think the answer is extended key maps triggered by meta 
> keys shift ctrl opt alt command |  which call up full alternate mappings 
> of Greek|Latin|Math|symbols &c which can be chosen by mouse|pointing 
> device.

> The mac calls these keyboard viewer, and character viewer. In that way 
> the full unicode set can be available from a standard qwerty keyboard 
> without modifying the hardware right away.

I think Roy is right in saying that what looks unrealistic with one
technology looks natural with another (out phones are already handling
speech and handwriting)

And Chris is right in (rephrasing) we may have unicode-happy OSes and
languages. We cant reasonably have unicode-happy keyboards.
[What would a million-key keyboard look like? Lets leave the cost aside...]

Problem is that unicode deals with very different sides:
Universality of the math language
Locality of the zillions of human languages

If any character could be a variable, distinguishing the different things that
look like 'A' would be a nightmare



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