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- Subject: Re: Internationalisation in programming languages [Was Re: lex patch]
- From: RLake@...
- Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 16:56:56 -0500
>>I use iso-8859-1, why should I not use «foo» as an identifier? (perhaps I
> We toyed with the idea of using «...» for long strings (after all they
> quotes!), but since it's not widely available, we stuck with [[..]].
Yes, they are quotes and I would have been thrilled with that. It would
avoid the problem of a[i]] terminating a long quote for example. However,
and Edgar may correct me here if I'm wrong, I think that there are some
languages in which the correct quoting style is »quotation« and others
where it is «quotation».
But it is impossible to suggest it since they are not available in every
character set (until we're all using Unicode, anyway) and they are
fiendishly difficult to type on some badly-designed operating systems like
the one I'm using to send this e-mail (I had to use right-alt-0171 and
right-alt-0187 to type them last time.) Of course, this operating
system/keyboard configuration makes it hard to type ~, too, so I don't use
it for writing programs much. That's another rant (OS's which don't let you
If you're open to long-quote alternatives, though, I'd think seriously
about << and >> (and it wouldn't bother me if « and » were synonyms, but it
might bother someone who wanted to use T's with carons). Another
alternative would be [< long quote >]. In general, I think that a lexical
token ought not to be ambiguous with another group of lexical tokens unless
the grouping is syntactically impossible. Otherwise you end up with the ]]
problem in Lua or C++'s various problems (a / *b), list<pair<char, int> >,
etc. You would think we'd learn....