On Mon, May 17, 2010 at 1:52 PM, Tom Christiansen <tchr...@perl.com> wrote:

> Exegesis 5 @ http://dev.perl.org/perl6/doc/design/exe/E05.html reads:
>  # Perl 6
>  / < <alpha> - [A-Za-z] >+ /   # All alphabetics except A-Z or a-z
>                                # (i.e. the accented alphabetics)
>    [Update: Would now need to be <+<alpha> - [A..Za..z]> to avoid ambiguity
>    with "Texas quotes", and because we want to reserve whitespace as the
> first
>    character inside the angles for other uses.]
Why isn't that:

  /<+ alpha - [A-Za-z]>+ /

> I'm also disappointed to see perl6 spreading the notion that "accent"
> is somehow a valid synonym for
>    diacritical marking
>    diacritic marking
>    diacritic mark
>    diacritic
>    mark
> It's not.  Accent is not a synonym for any of those.  Not all marks are
> accents, and not all accents are marks.

I agree that it's a rather "folksy" way of saying "them funny letters." On
the other hand, I think that was the intent. It's very hard to find ways to
describe Unicode spaces in ways that the average coder (not the average
person, which is a small help) will grasp immediately. diacritical isn't a
word that most folks know, even among programmers. "Accent" does have
a colloquial meaning that maps correctly, but sadly that colloquial
definition does not correspond to the technical definition, so in being
clear, you become less accurate. There is, as far as I'm aware, no good
middle ground, here.

I think having the exegeses be more colloquial and the synopses be more
technically accurate makes a fair amount of sense, though perhaps footnoting
the technically inaccurate elements of the exegeses would make sense.

To the question of the exegeses being out of date: if they are out of date,
why are we keeping them around? Is there value there? I understand the value
in keeping the apocalypses around, but that's due to their nature as the
first draft of the standard. The exegeses have no such status.

Personally, I'd rather see them updated than thrown out, but I tried writing
examples just for a few elements of S29 back in the day, and found the
moving target to be too painful. Maybe Perl 6 has slowed down enough that
it's more practical now?

Aaron Sherman
Email or GTalk: a...@ajs.com

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