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

Richard O'Keefe <>
Fri Oct 26 06:53:06 CEST 2012

On 23/10/2012, at 4:41 AM, Henning Diedrich wrote:
> But how many programmers do we really know who don't speak English?

For heaven's sake, even *COBOL* allows Unicode in identifiers these days!

(ISO/IEC 1989:20xx CD 1.2 (E) pp 61-62:
	"Extended letters    additional characters from the
	 repertoire of ISO/IEC 10646-1 used in formation of
	 user-defined words"
 To be a bit clearer, that draft of the standard did not say that _all_
 COBOL implementations _must_ support full Unicode identifiers but that
 any COBOL implementation may admit additional Unicode 'letters'.)

The term "speak English" is, empirically, extremely vague.
I once needed to ask for directions in Paris.
The man I spoke to understood me.
Judging from his accent he was a native speaker of French.
I did not understand him.
Because I'd tried, he grabbed me, turned me around, and pointed.
If he'd written it down, I'd probably have got it.
Did I "speak French"?

As the majority of people throughout history have shown,
it is possible to speak a language, even fluently, without
being able to read or write it.

It's hard enough translating requirements into code without having
to translate languages as well!

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