Re: Characters for Programming Languages

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Sat Jun 17 2000 - 20:46:26 EDT

At 6:45 PM -0800 6/16/00, From Net Link wrote:
>I am interested in using additional characters for programming languages.

Have a look at APL, then. Also, have you consider Murray Sargent's
proposals in "Unicode, Rich Text, and Mathematics" (Unicode 7, 1995)?

>C++ and other languages cause all sort of programs and mistakes
>reusing (overloading) the use of the small set of ASCII character.
>The set of math characters contains most of what would be nice but
>I do not see additional parentheses. The ASCII () [] {} are not sufficient.

I suppose < and > don't work for you? What about 00AA and 00AB?

>It would be nice of at least three more pairs were added to the math set.

How about FD3E and FD3F, from the Arabic Presentation Forms-A? (062A

Or CJK Symbols and Punctuation, where there are nine separate pairs
in the ranges 3008-3011 and 3014-301B? (3020 POSTAL MARK FACE)

>I also do not see the common divide symbol, sort of like a colon
>with a minus through it.

Because it isn't among the math symbols, but back in Latin-1, at 00F7.

>Backspace overtyping would not be very convenient in programming languages.

It worked fine on printing terminals for APL. ^_^

However, to answer your original wish, there is no way to avoid
overloading symbols other than using multiple-character names. (1465
inventing new notations faster than new symbols, at an
ever-increasing rate for the last several hundred years (after
thousands of years of advancing in fits and starts), and are showing
no signs of slowing down.

It has been reported on this list that another ~900 math characters
are to be added to Unicode, and there the American Mathematical
Society wishes to stop.

Edward Cherlin, Spamfighter <>
"It isn't what you don't know that hurts you, it's
what you know that ain't so."--Mark Twain, or else
some other prominent 19th century humorist and wit

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