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Re: Semantics of vector operations

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Damian Conway
January 28, 2004 14:32
Re: Semantics of vector operations
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Larry mused:

> But we also have the ambiguity with <<'' and friends, so maybe the real
> problem is trying to make the << and >> workarounds look too much like
> � and �.  Maybe they should be :<< and :>> or some such.  Maybe we
> should be thinking about a more general trigraph (shudder) policy.



> Or some other kind of "entity" policy.  Though I don't think people
> would be terribly pleased when they see things like:
>     @a &raquo;+<<&laquo; @b


> Particularly since the "r" one goes on the left, and the "l" on goes
> on the right.  Still, it's potentially a lot less ambiguous, and puts
> people into the "preprocessing" frame of mind, and would certainly
> motivate people to move toward editors and terminals that can display:
>     @a �+<<� @b

Yes, it would be an excellent motivation in that direction. But, then, so 
would *not* providing any ASCII-based alternative in the first place.

> And we wouldn't have to define yet another arbitrary list of mappings.

Here, here! I certainly believe that any entity notation must use the 
"standard" (i.e. HTML and/or Unicode) names for entities.

> On the other hand, we'd probably have to require a () on the &foo()
> notation to distinguish it from an &foo; entity.

Which would seem to suggest that the Huffman coding is backwards. I expect to 
use constructs like:

	my Code $clocks_ref = &times;

far more often than I'd use something like:

	my Vector $outer = $vec1 &times; $vec2;

especially since I'm already using an OS that makes it trivial to code the 
latter "properly":

	my Vector $outer = $vec1 � $vec2;

Frankly, I'd *much* rather see:

       @sum = @a E<raquo>+<<E<laquo> @b;

       my Vector $outer = $vec1 E<times> $vec2;

which at least has the benefit of being consistent with POD notation.

(Note that, if we *do* decide to support some kind of ASCII-based entity 
notation, we really must make sure it's the same in both Perl code and POD 


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