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

Benoit Chesneau <>
Tue Oct 23 10:26:19 CEST 2012

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM, Ivan Uemlianin <> wrote:
> 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?

yes.  Afterall didn't you learn at first maths syntax before to use them?
>> 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
> Ivan

so hopefully I had the font installed on my machine to read it ... I
think you can have a choice anyway, living in your small world without
any interactions with others on the code or thinking more globally and
use a common syntax.

And this isn't about english here it's about a syntax. It may be
unfortunate for some that it is english but that is just history. Just
like we are using number syntax from a culture and symbols from
another in maths.

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