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Postings from October 2005
Re: new sigil
From: Steve Peters
October 20, 2005 18:18
Re: new sigil
Message ID: 20051021011758.GA12519@mccoy.peters.homeunix.org
On Thu, Oct 20, 2005 at 05:03:27PM -0400, Rob Kinyon wrote:
> On 10/20/05, Steve Peters <email@example.com> wrote:
> > I have some serious concerns about using Latin-1 sigils within Perl 6 and
> > the ASCII multi-character aliases. Am I not understanding something that
> > I should see this as an advantage?
> I had the same concern a few months back. I've come to see the light
> in this fashion:
> 1) more and more Perl programmers come from non-English countries.
> Heck, the Pugs effort is at least 50% non-US, if not more. None of the
> are on US soil and very few of the leaders are US citizens.
Surely you aren't suggesting that these non-English speakers do not have
access to the ASCII (or EBCDIC) character sets for their editors, are you?
> 2) More and more of us are programming with internationalization
> (i18n) in mind. Just recently, I had to edit french text within the
> templates of an app I work on. If you haven't already, you will be
> doing so in the near future, within the next 3 years.
I have worked on an app that needed to work with English (US and GB),
German, and Japanese. I do not, however, remember having to write my
code in anything but ASCII.
> 3) Every editor (with very few exceptions) can display Latin-1
> and, with a few more exceptions, can input Latin-1. If your favorite
> editor cannot, then that's something to bring up with the authors.
As I mentioned earlier, most programmers in a corporate environment have
limited access to system settings. Changing them in some cases can cause
reprimands or dismissal. Systems are often set up with the bare minimum
of locales and character sets necessary to do the job. Also, you have to
deal with the situations where programmers are connecting to *nix servers
through a variety of Windows-based XWindows servers (Exceed, Cygwin, etc.)
complicates what character sets are available immensely.
Also, what settings changes do I need to make to get Latin-1 on
<enter any operating system or editor here>? Welcome to your documentation
nightmare! In Perl 5, we have a nearly impossible time keeping track of where
Microsoft has put their free compiler tools. Now multiply that by the
number of Linux distributions, BSD distributions, and various other operating
systems. Don't forget different versions will do it differently, and have
documentation in different places. Some of the documentation won't even be
available on the Internet, so Perl 6 would need to reference it in some way.
Are you beginning to get the magnitude of the documentation problem?
> Windows ... yeah. As you pointed out, the old joke goes "Doctor,
> it hurts when I use Windows . . . then, don't use Windows!"
Well over 95% of the desktop computers in a corporate environment are using
Windows. If you are suggesting Perl 6 ignores Windows, then we should all
start writing Perl 6's obituary. This sort of attitude does nothing to
advance Perl 6.
> With the availability of dual-booting into FreeBSD/Linux (given the
> near-complete migration of all the necessary Office products) and both
> gvim and emacs having been successfully ported to WIn32, there is a
> way to do it. gvim on WinXP will do all Latin-1 charset with the vim
> keys. (I don't know about emacs, but I'd be shocked if it didn't.) If
> your IT department's policy is rigid, a quick discussion with your
> manager's manager will solve that problem immediately. Or, the cost of
> a few lunches with your favorite IT person will exempt your computer
> from the nightly audit. ($50 goes a long way ...)
Again, I'd prefer not to be fired. Everything you have written above is
not an option for the majority of the programmers out there. Also, not
to helpful if you write your programs in TSO on an IBM mainframe.
> Personally, I plan on using every single Latin-1 operator I am
> given access to. All the cool kids will ...
Famous last words have never been more finely spoken. Ignoring Windows and
other environments without ready access to Latin-1 seems like a horrible
mistake to me. While the cool kids are playing with their Latin-1 sigils,
programmers in corporate environments where Latin-1 isn't available will
start writing their new systems in Java, Ruby, or .NET.