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

Ivan Uemlianin <>
Tue Oct 23 09:45:16 CEST 2012

On 23/10/2012 06:38, Benoit Chesneau wrote:
> Beeing private doesn't mean you won't need any help from external
> programmer. And sometimes they are foreigner.

So the team should write all module, function and variable names, and 
all comments and documentation in a language in which none of them are 
familiar, because one day they might need help from a foreigner?

> imo programming in that context is like math. It should be
> understandable by all. Now imagine if all maths where localized...

Chinese (hanzi) is a lot like math, in that meaning and pronunciation 
are separated.  We all understand "5", however differently we pronounce 
it.  In exactly the same way, we can understand "列" to mean list* even 
though we all pronounce it differently (see en.wiktionary.org/wiki/列 
for Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean & Vietnamese pronunciations).

imho, using hanzi for all module, function and variable names has a lot 
going for it.  If you had a convention that module and function names 
should be two characters long, the results could be very aesthetically 
pleasing, e.g.:

   词典:新生()  %% dict:new()

Best wishes


* Apologies to readers with decent Chinese

Ivan A. Uemlianin PhD
Speech Technology Research and Development


               "hilaritas excessum habere nequit"
                  (Spinoza, Ethica, IV, XLII)

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