[erlang-questions] A proposal for Unicode variable and atom names in Erlang.

Ulf Wiger <>
Mon Oct 22 15:49:51 CEST 2012

I would also argue that today, as Open Source is extremely important,
one should think twice about promoting coding styles that make code
sharing much more difficult. As you say, learning English is more or 
less a requirement in order to learn Erlang (and Comp Sci?) in the first
place, as well as to capitalize on the vast amount of Open Source code
out there. I view it as an extreme advantage to have a standard language
that we all use for documentation and (to the extent it's relevant) coding.

I recall an example in Kostis's Tidier talk in London [1], where the 
comment was in Hungarian. In that particular context, it became a 
source of amusement, since the code had been singled out for a bad
code smell, and it would have been interesting to know whether the
comment had anything to say about it (as it turned out, it didn't).

[1] http://www.erlang-factory.com/conference/London2009/speakers/kostissagonas

BTW, I just ran that particular comment through Google Translate:

%% Are equal if they can not tell you whether there are boobs ..
%% Can be considered to be like you, and later you might
%% Can be asked felhasznalaot he believes is

I assume the translation is faulty. As someone who doesn't speak
Hungarian, I think my understanding would be helped even if the 
author tried writing the comment in broken English.

Ulf W

On 22 Oct 2012, at 15:33, Vlad Dumitrescu wrote:

> Hi Fred,
> On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 2:29 PM, Fred Hebert <> wrote:
>> Telling these people "well just Learn English, that's what I did when I
>> needed to" isn't a valid way of doing things.
> This is very correct. However, I wonder how would anyone learn Erlang
> (for example) without knowing English, when the standard libraries are
> using English names and the documentation is in English too? I know
> there are books in French, but have the docs been translated too? That
> would be cool, but it's not certain that this would happen for all
> non-English languages. So everybody needs _some_ amount of proficiency
> in English, right?
> best regards,
> Vlad
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Ulf Wiger, Co-founder & Developer Advocate, Feuerlabs Inc.

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