unicode as valid naming symbols

Rustom Mody rustompmody at gmail.com
Thu Mar 27 18:53:40 CET 2014


On Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:47:04 PM UTC+5:30, MRAB wrote:
> On 2014-03-27 15:51, Rustom Mody wrote:
> > On Thursday, March 27, 2014 8:58:51 PM UTC+5:30, Mark H. Harris wrote:
> >> On 3/25/14 6:58 PM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> >> > To quote a great Spaniard:
> >> >      “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you
> >> >       think it means.”
> >>     In~con~theveable !      My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my
> >> father, prepare to die...
> >> > Do you think that the ability to write this would be an improvement?
> >> > import ⌺
> >> > ⌚ = ⌺.╩░
> >> > ⑥ = 5*⌺.⋨⋩
> >> > ❹ = ⑥ - 1
> >> > ♅⚕⚛ = [⌺.✱✳**⌺.❇*❹{⠪|⌚.∣} for ⠪ in ⌺.⣚]
> >> > ⌺.˘˜¨´՛՜(♅⚕⚛)
> >>     Steven, you're killing me here; argument by analogy does not work!
> >>     √ = lambda n: sqrt(n)      <===== but this should work...
> >>     In point of fact, it should be built-in !   OK, IMHO.
> >> > Of course, it's not even necessary to be that exotic. "Any unicode symbol
> >> > that is not a number"... that means things like these:
> >>    No, any unicode character (except numerals) should be able to begin a
> >> name identifier.   alt-l  λ   and  alt-v  √   should be valid first
> >> character name identifier symbols.
> >> > There are languages that can allow arbitrary symbols as identifiers, like
> >> > Lisp and Forth. You will note that they have a certain reputation for
> >> > being, um, different, and although both went through periods of
> >> > considerable popularity, both have faded in popularity since.
> >>     Actually, there is a recent resurgence of popularity in both common
> >> lisp and scheme these days.  But, again, that has nothing to do with my
> >> argument.  No modern language should limit the use of certain symbols to
> >> say, only math  √ .    The radical symbol is more often than not going
> >> to be useful only with math (which , by the way is why it should be
> >> built-in as  √ = squre-rooot) but why limit its use elsewhere.
> >>     Whether this can work in python is also beside the point, because
> >> I'm not demanding anything here either, at this point.
> >> have a good day!
> > The problem is that mathematicians invent notations in a completely
> > laissez-faire manner.
> > Language implementers having to unrestrainedly keep up would go mad.
> > And then us vanilla users (aka programmers) would have to deal with maddened
> > implementers.
> > Observe:
> > Good ol infix -- x+y..
> > prefix (with paren) -- foo(x)
> > prefix without  -- ¬ x
> > In case you thought alphanumerics had parens --  sin x
> > Then theres postfix   -- n!
> > Inside fix   -- nCr (Or if you prefer ⁿCᵣ ??)
> > And outside fix -- mod -- |x|
> > And Ive probably forgotten 2 dozen other common ones

> You haven't mentioned implicit multiplication: xy

Yeah -- thats a bad one!

Can mean 
- ordinary multiply (if you are in school)
- overloaded (scalar-field or scalar-vector) multiply in linear algebra
- function application (tensors??)
- concatenation (awk, snobol (with space))
- a 2 char variable (for 'normal' (whatever that means) programmer)

> Then there's raising to a power sin²(x), except that what looks like
> raising to -1 actually means the inverse function (arcsin).

Non-linear notations is another can (barrel?) of worms
Matrices/Determinants anyone?

Yeah... Copying the *notations* of mathematicians is not such a great idea.

And yet doing away with it too summarily leads to Cobol, Sql etc.
The math remains willy-nilly... just under a steaming pile of alphanumeriage.



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