[erlang-questions] Atom Unicode Support

Ivan Uemlianin <>
Tue Feb 2 09:56:45 CET 2016


Japanese prolog programmers have been writing their entire programs in Kanji for
years. This whole debate is silly and parochial.
Erlang programmers should be able to use full Unicode for atoms, including
module and function names, and for variables.
Ivan

On Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 7:52 am, José Valim <>
wrote:
> Are you ready to edit chineese or thai?

I can already write atoms in Afrikaans, Albanian, Basque, Breton, Corsican,
Danish, English, Faroese, Galician, German, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian,
Kurdish, Leonese, Luxembourgish, Malay, Manx, Norwegian, Occitan, Portuguese,
Rhaeto-Romanic, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Walloon.
Source: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_8859-1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_8859-1
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_8859-1]

And I can only effectively speak 3 of those. There are already a lot of
programmers who can write in their own language and I don't expect to edit their
code.
Not only that, there are other programming languages which have already adopted
Unicode Support and the amount of times I had to read code in a language I don't
understand has been exactly 0.
I recommend reading Richard O'Keefe replies on the matter back in 2012: [http://erlang.org/pipermail/erlang-questions/2012-October/070187.html] http://erlang.org/pipermail/erlang-questions/2012-October/070187.html
[http://erlang.org/pipermail/erlang-questions/2012-October/070187.html]
> but a lot more thought would need to go into this than simply defining a
parsing rule or cobbling together a patch that builds cleanly.
I agree with this. That's why I want to focus on the underlying runtime support
and not on how it will affect parsing. Specially because according to the OTP
board post I mentioned above, they haven't made a decision if Unicode in
variables should be allowed. Today Unicode is already supported in double quotes
(and double quotes only) so I would say it is reasonable to allow them in single
quotes as well.
Should we move this discussion to another thread? I know this has been
extensively discussed in the past and it would be nice to keep this discussion
focused on the implementation details for whoever is following the trail in the
future.
José Valim [http://www.plataformatec.com.br/] www.plataformatec.com.br [http://www.plataformatec.com.br] Skype: jv.ptec Founder and Director of R&D
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