Text-mode apps (Was :Who are the "spacists"?)

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Thu Mar 30 01:43:39 EDT 2017

On Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 3:21 PM, Rick Johnson
<rantingrickjohnson at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 2:53:49 PM UTC-5, Chris Angelico wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 6:25 AM, Mikhail V <mikhailwas at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On 26 March 2017 at 20:10, Steve D'Aprano <steve+python at pearwood.info> wrote:
>> >> On Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:57 am, Mikhail V wrote:
>> I generally find that when people say that Unicode doesn't
>> solve their problems and they need to roll their own, it's
>> usually one of two possibilities:  1) "Their problems" are
>> all about simplicity. They don't want to have to deal with
>> all the complexities of real-world text, so they
>> arbitrarily restrict things.
> There are only so many hours in the day Chris. Not every
> progammer has the time to cater to every selfish desire of
> every potential client. You try to create the best product
> you can, but at the end of the process, there will always be
> someone (or a group of someones) who are unhappy with the
> result.

Except that it doesn't actually take very much work to call on someone
else's library, which is what you get when you use Unicode properly.
(At least, assuming you're using a decent language like Python, which
comes with Unicode libraries, and a decent GUI toolkit if you're going
that way.)

>> """
>> I, the undersigned, acknowledge that my program is
>> intentionally excluding everyone who does not fit the
>> following requirements: [choose all applicable]
>> [ ] Speaks English exclusively
> Of course, your comment presupposing that every programmer
> is fluent in every natural language. Which is not only
> impractical, it's impossible.

Nope. I can't speak Mandarin, but I can make absolutely sure that all
my programs can accept Chinese characters. A friend of mine sent me an
audio file with a name that included some Chinese, and I was able to
handle it no problem.

>> [ ] Uses no diacritical marks
> Why is it my responsibiliy to encode my text with
> pronuciation tutorials? Are we adults here or what?
>> [ ] Writes all text top-to-bottom, left-to-right
> Not my problem. Learn the King's English or go wait for
> extinction to arrive.

And these two cement your parochialism thoroughly in everyone's minds.
"Pronunciation tutorials", eh? Sure. Tell that to everyone who speaks
Spanish, Turkish, Norwegian, German, or Vietnamese, all of which use
diacritical marks to distinguish between letters. English is the weird
language in that it uses letter pairs instead of adorned letters (eg
"ch" and "sh" instead of "ç" and "ş").

Also, which king are you referring to, exactly? Whose English do you speak?

> What don't you add these:
> [ ] Has the ability to read and comprehend at a high
>     school level.
> [ ] Has functioning visual receptors.
> [ ] Has a functioning brain.
> [ ] Is not currently in a vegetative state

Nah. If I did, I'd have to say "[ ] Is not trolling python-list" as well.

>> Sure, there are good reasons to place restrictions on
>> people's text. But those restrictions are part of your
>> public API and UI. Acknowledge them. Own them. And justify
>> them.
> The only justifaction required is the bottom line. If your
> products generate profit, then you're doing something right.
> Besides, you don't need _everyone_ on the planet to buy your
> product to be a success. Unlike the business practices of
> Apple, we would be wise to leave plenty of room for others
> to enter the market. Competition is good for everyone.
> Monopolies are evil.

Riiiiiight. What's the "bottom line" for open source software? How do
you measure whether your product is generating a profit or not?


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