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ASCII or Unicode? (was best text editor for programming Python on a Mac)

On Monday, June 20, 2016 at 8:59:44 AM UTC+5:30, Steven D'Aprano wrote:

> Without better tooling and more discoverability, non-ASCII characters as
> syntax are an anti-feature.

You need to decide which hat you have on
- idealist
- pragmatist

>From a pragmatic pov nothing you are saying below is arguable.

The argument starts because you are taking the moral high ground against
a *title* and presumably the mnemonic (the 'a' in :ga) in the vi docs.
Ignoring that the implementation and the doc-body are aligned with current practices

> Getting back to ? I tried:

I have greater horror-stories to describe if you like
On my recent ubuntu upgrade my keyboard broke -- totally ie cant type anything.
Here's a detailed rundown...

Upgrade complete; reboot -- NO KEYBOARD -- Yikes
However login works in X -- after login ... GONE
And ttys (Ctrl-Alt-F1 etc) fine; no issue.
<Head scratching>
Searched around.. "Uninstall ibus" seems to be the advice... No go
Some Unity issue it looks?
Installed xfce (from tty)

Again after few days (some upgrade dont remember which) keyboard broken
Um Now what to install? gnome?? OMG!

Created a new login... Problem gone...

Well whats the problem?? Well whatever!!
Finally by chance discovered that the problem was probably uim
uim is an alternative to ibus
I had installed it to make this work:

which is aimed precisely at removing this pain:

> This is how I write x?y from scratch:
> - press the 'x' key on my keyboard
> - grab the mouse
> - move mouse to Start menu
> - pause and wait for "Utilities" submenu to appear
> - move mouse over "Utilities" submenu
> - pause and wait for "More Applications" submenu to appear
> - move mouse to "More Applications" submenu
> - move mouse to "Gnome charmap"
> - click
> - wait a second
> - move mouse to "Character Map" window
> - click on "Search" menu
> - click on "Find" menu item
> - release mouse
> - type "unequal" and press ENTER
> - press ENTER to dismiss the "Not Found" dialog
> - type "not equal" and press ENTER
> - press ESC to dismiss the Find dialog
> - grab the mouse
> - click the ? glyph
> - pause and swear when nothing happens
> - double-click the ? glyph
> - move the mouse to the "Copy" button
> - click "Copy"
> - visually search the task bar for my editor
> - click on the editor
> - invariably I end up accidentally moving the insertion point, 
>   so click after the 'x'
> - release the mouse
> - press Ctrl-V
> - press the 'y' key
> and I am done.

So yeah...
- Remedy worse than evil? Sure
- Unpractical? of course.

So also thought programmers in the 70s, when presented with possibility of 
using lowercase when everyone used FORTRAN, COBOL and PL/1 and programming meant

BTW the maverick that offered this completely unnecessarily wasteful luxury was
called Unix

> In theory most Linux apps support an X mechanism for inserting characters
> that don't appear on the keyboard. Unfortunately, this gives no feedback
> when you get it wrong, and discoverablity is terrible. It's taken me many
> years to discover and learn the following:
> WIN o WIN o gives ?
> WIN m WIN u gives ?
> WIN s WIN s gives ?
> WIN . . gives ?
> (WIN is the Windows key)

Heres a small sample of what you get with xcompose
[compose key can be anything; in my case its set to right-alt]
COMP oo ?
COMP mu ?
COMP 12 ?
COMP <> ?
COMP => ?
COMP -v ?
COMP ^^i ?  Likewise n ?

Nifty when it works; nicely parameterisable -- just edit ~/.XCompose
But mind your next upgrade :D
COMP -^ ?

> > 
> > http://blog.languager.org/2014/04/unicoded-python.html
> Quote:
> "Why do we have to write x!=y then argue about the status of x<>y when we
> can simply write x?y?"
> "Simply"?

Early adopters by definition live on the bleeding edge
So "not simple" today ? "not simple" tomorrow