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

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Tue Mar 25 15:37:51 CET 2014

On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 1:13 AM, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info> wrote:
> On Tue, 25 Mar 2014 08:35:02 -0400, Roy Smith wrote:
>> In article <281c8ce1-4f03-4e93-b5cd-d45b85e89e7e at googlegroups.com>,
>>  Rustom Mody <rustompmody at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 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...]
>> In a true unicode environment, the input device may be nothing like our
>> current keyboards.
> I doubt it. I expect that they will be based on our current keyboards.

Rule #0 of any voice-activated system: The command word "Console" MUST
summon a terminal window, and make available a keyboard and screen on
which to use it. This console MAY demand authentication (via typed
password) before operating.

I don't know if that's written anywhere, but it ought to be. It should
be as fundamental as Asimov's laws of robotics. That one simple rule
would improve scifi like "Eureka" no end. Hey look, we have a rogue
AI... "CONSOLE!"... hey look, we have a rogue AI on a system that's
now powered off. Crisis averted, now go solve the problem in a mundane
and not very TV-friendly way...

>> Star Trek has been amazingly accurate about it's predictions of the
>> future.
> O_o

I like the Scott Adams take on that. He predicted (in the 1990s) that
the future would *not* be like Star Trek, because human reproduction
depends on genuine relationships being cheaper/easier than artificial
ones. If you could go onto the holodeck and create yourself the
perfect (wo)man of your dreams, why would you ever date a real one?
The holodeck would be humanity's last invention.

>> When's the last time you saw somebody typing commands to a computer on
>> Star Trek?
> 1986, when I last saw Star Trek IV.

You actually watched it? I got pretty much bored with the series
before even finishing TNG. (I'm not 100% sure, but I think I watched
every TOS episode.)

> The Star Trek universe also predicts that money will be obsolete. How's
> that prediction working out?

And it further predicts that, thanks to the invention of the holodeck
and the replicator, humanity will lose all sense of purpose and
challenge, and will send ships out to go^H^Hgo to places where
nobody's yet been, because the entire human race is *bored out of its
petty little brain* with nothing exciting left to do. Yup, that's the
whole unpublished backstory right there, sorry for the spoilers! (I
got this from Scott Adams too. He seems to know his stuff.)


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