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2 points by sacado 5835 days ago | link | parent

"maybe we shouldn't make use of non-ascii characters" : why not ? Characters like λ have their place in a Lisp, and I think ∧and ∨ have their place too. Anyway, such characters wouldn't be used very frequently (do you often use andf & orf ?) and could be ignored if typing them is too painful. That's better than consuming ASCII characters that sometimes fit well in symbol names, IMO.

9 points by kens 5835 days ago | link

I think it would be hilariously ironic to make non-ASCII Unicode characters part of Arc's syntax and functions.

A few proposals for giving functions new names: ☢ for atomic, ✄ for cut, ✔ for check, ⌚ for time, ⌛ for sleep, ☠ for kill-thread, ☇ for zap, ♭for flat.


4 points by almkglor 5835 days ago | link

Given that it didn't originally have good Unicode support ^^


4 points by sacado 5835 days ago | link

lol, I really like the "flat" idea :)


2 points by almkglor 5835 days ago | link

> (do you often use andf & orf ?)

Yes, in arc2c ^^


3 points by sacado 5835 days ago | link

Oh, well, ok then... :)

But anyway, I still think they're not worth loosing an ASCII character, and using mathematical notation would be very useful. It would make code readable by people a little aware of mathematics. That is, most programers. It would be definitely better than arbitrary characters.

Why should we restrict to ASCII anyway ? I mean, a lot of symbols I use are not ASCII anymore (they are accentuated, I'm French so something like 'year is translated into 'année, not into 'annee). Sure, they're hard to type, but are they any longer than they symbol counterpart ? If you type them often, just make them a vi macro (or whatever in your favorite text editor) and you're done.

It might end up looking like APL, for sure, but I think Fortress, Sun's new language designed by Guy Steele, is going that way too. And Steele cannot be wrong :)


5 points by absz 5835 days ago | link

I don't mind non-ASCII, I mind weird non-ASCII. Even in English, we leave ASCII behind: “As I was going to the café—what fun—my naïve friend said…” It's just that I don't know of any keyboard layout that supports ∧ or ∨. I agree that they would look great, as would Fortress.

I wonder if anyone's given any though to using (La)TeX in a language? So that something like (number{\wedge}acons var) would be the same as (number∨acons var)? Or just as a nice way of typing things like Fortress? (Which I agree looks very interesting.)


2 points by almkglor 5834 days ago | link

> Oh, well, ok then... :)

I'd probably use them a lot more often if the syntax was a little easier, which is why I suggested using ssyntax for them. Currently the syntax is ((orf this that the-other) foo), and doubled starting parens feel rather strange to me.