On Thu, Oct 20, 2005 at 10:24:23AM -0700, chromatic wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-10-20 at 10:32 -0500, Steve Peters wrote:
> > The idea of punishing programmers who choose to use certain operating system
> > or locales just doesn't seem right to me.
> Haven't they already acclimated to the punishment of those operating
> systems already?

I have rarely considered working in Eclipse or WSAD to be a punishment, but
I still can't type a Latin-1 sigil on its editor.  Here on my OpenBSD box,
I can't even cut and paste a Latin-1 sigil here in mutt.  There are many
things that I get punished for by being required to use Windows at work,
but I've not programmed in a language that punishes me for the characters
available on my system.

Since there have been some concerns regarding the lack of suggestions in this
thread, my suggestion is to avoid non-ASCII sigils completely.  There are
a couple of reasons I see for this.  

The first reason is efficiency.  I started programming with Perl 5 because of 
its efficiency. The lack of the code-compile-run loop helped to shorten 
and feedback times.  The fact that I had to go to Google to figure out how to
type a cent character doesn't bode well for my efficiency in Perl 6.  The best
way I can see currently on my current desktop setup is:
        * Start up Microsoft Word
        * Type the character as ALT-155 (the 155 must be typed on the numeric 
        * Copy and paste the character into my editor
Like the old joke goes "Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I try to type a Latin-1 
character."  "So don't try to type Latin-1 characters!"  Instead, many 
programmers will to use the ASCII equivolents that will require additional
keystrokes.  Ideally, a lazy programmer will develop shortcuts to make this
easier, but this, of course, takes time and the right editor.  

The second reason is in educating the average programmer.  There may be books 
written on Perl 6 that don't explain the ASCII equivolents for the Latin-1
sigils and vice-versa.  If you don't think that will be the case, lets take 
Perl 5 as the example.  There are many beginning Perl 5 books, even those 
written by reputable authors, that treat "for" and "foreach" very differently,
when they are identical in every way.  I would hope the book editors will be  
good enough to catch the sigil differences in Perl 6, but this seems rather 
naive on my part.  

These both cause problems with advocacy.  The high-end Perl programmers who
these sigils are supposed to be for are also, typically, the best advocates and 
the ones trusted in a typical programming shop.  If this programmer has to
advocate changes in the entire development environment to get the most 
environment they can get along with migrating to Perl 6, this programmer is
going to have a tough fight, especially when competing against the likes of
Java with Eclipse/WSAD or Ruby on Rails.

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?

Steve Peters

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