[erlang-questions] Erlang 3000?

Robert Raschke rtrlists@REDACTED
Wed Nov 19 18:05:04 CET 2008

Stuff like to_upper(), to_lower(), is_vowel() etc. is pretty specific
to the language used when writing the text. It does not translate well
between languages in general. Things are complicated by the fact that
there are so many Latin influenced languages that make it appear like
there are common operations that you can carry out.

The ß letter in german actually evolved out of a ligature of fraktur s
(kinda looks like an upside down l) and z (looks a bit like a g with
its left hand side chopped off). So, in the language you have the need
for several types of the "ess" sound, soft (s) and hard (sz). Since
this latter one lended itself to getting squashed together a bit
during printing, you end up with a nice looking "letter" (similar in
spirit to the fi ligature, for example). The fraktur printing alphabet
got replaced by the latin based one and the ligature got replace by
that strange thing that looks like a beta. The old handwritten german
was completely bizarre (I've forgotten the name of it, but it looked a
lot like the sharp end of a saw).

On top of all that, there was recently (last ten years ago or so) the
decision to revise some of the writing standards of German,
essentially making it completely valid to write ss instead of ß, oe
instead of ö, etc.

It can be funny how written language can evolve. In Dutch there used
to be a letter y with two dots (umlaut) on it, nowadays they write
that as ij.


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