Re: Characters for Programming Languages

Date: Mon Jun 19 2000 - 07:32:12 EDT

"From Net Link" <> wrote:
> I am interested in using additional characters for programming languages.
> 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
> It would be nice of at least three more pairs were added to the math set.
> I also do not see the common divide symbol, sort of like a colon with a
minus through it.
> Backspace overtyping would not be very convenient in programming

The reason it has been important to restrict the set of characters used is
to allow simple porting of the source code from one platform to another:
using characters outside this range means that one has to tag the source
code with the file's encoding. However, if one were to extend some language
and explicitly state that the encoding is e.g. UTF-16, you could use the
mathematical characters encoded in Unicode.

Have a look at the MATHML pages at to see if this
provides what you want: I'm not a fan because of its wide use of
private-use characters, but I expect these will be encoded in Unicode at
some point (allowing for many fun-filled days trying to convert existing


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