Re: Rationale wanted for Unicode identifier rules

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Mar 02 2000 - 16:06:59 EST

Tim Partridge wrote:

> It's all down to your philosophy. COBOL identifiers aren't valid Unicode
> ones according to the rules suggested, but are close.

The rules aren't intended to provide exact specifications. It is understood
that particular formal language syntaxes require extensions. So for COBOL
you have to allow "-" in identifiers.

SQL allows "letters", "syllables", "ideographs", and "_" in identifiers.
The Sybase TSQL extension allows "@" and "#" to start identifiers with special
meaning, and allows "@", "#", "_", "$", "", and "" in identifiers.

> Forth identifiers
> definitely don't conform and someone just might program their radio
> telescope to point at Mars with a subroutine named with the astrological
> symbol for Mars. Would you want a chi-squared statistical subroutine
> to have a two character name?

Sure: U+03C7 U+00B2. Couldn't resist. ;-)


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