RE: Clones (was RE: Hexadecimal)

Date: Tue Aug 19 2003 - 05:00:02 EDT

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    Yeah, I know. But like I said, who uses this?

    I have a QWERTY keyboard in front of me. I use a standard en-GB key mapping.
    Now I _could_ customise my keymap such that Right-Alt + HYPHEN MINUS yielded
    MINUS SIGN. Wouldn't that be great? Then I could write things like "x = -5;"
    unambiguously. But it would completely screw my C++ compiler.

    And I also have to ask ... if I am actually WRITING a C++ compiler, should I
    allow the use of MINUS SIGN to mean minus sign? (Actually, that question may
    be answered by the specification of C++, so let's push it a bit further. If
    I am inventing some successor language to C++, and am free to invent my own
    specification, should I _then_ allow the use of MINUS SIGN?)

    I'm not being Devil's advocate. I don't necessarily even expect anyone to
    have a definitive answer. I only ask that the charts make clear what each
    character is FOR, in sufficient detail that the answer to questions like the
    above becomes obvious.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: John Cowan []
    Sent: Monday, August 18, 2003 4:39 PM
    Subject: Re: Clones (was RE: Hexadecimal)

    > U+2212 (minus sign) - an obvious clone of U+002D (hyphen-minus). Who
    > uses this?

    The ASCII characters, because they have had to do double or triple
    duty over the years when we had a very limited 7-bit character set,
    often have several near-equivalents in Unicode that disambiguate their
    *typographically* different purposes. Thus hyphen, minus sign, en dash,
    and em dash have separate Unicode representations, though in ASCII they
    are often written -, -, -- or -, and --- or -- respectively.

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