Re: proposal for a "Standard-Exit" or "Namespace" character

From: David Starner (
Date: Mon Apr 13 2009 - 21:12:27 CDT

  • Next message: James Kass: "Re: proposal for a "Standard-Exit" or "Namespace" character"

    On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 9:06 PM, Dennis Heuer <> wrote:
    > it's always the escape key!

    Yes, because that's the tool that does the job. Why does it matter?
    It's better to use existing ways, even if they're a little clunky,
    then reinvent the wheel.

    > escape sequences, instead, are
    > generally just filtered out.

    Not really; they tend to show up as junk, which is a very lightweight
    form of error message for lightweight program.

    > also, and i wrote that already, i doubt that unicode will ever be the
    > only character set in use.

    Okay, but for the last thirty years, there have been multiple
    character sets. What you haven't shown is that it's better to handle
    the changing character sets using Unicode-level characters, instead of
    a higher level protocol.

    > the main problem with 'international standards' (don't understand this
    > argument. the international character-set standards didn't hinder the
    > people behind unicode, did they?) is that they are complex, bloated,
    > many, and not easy to parse

    Of course the solution to "many" is to add another one. Every system
    starts out simple until someone starts adding the features that people
    want. There are many simple solutions out there, but they're far from
    sufficient. At the least, extended character sets are notoriously hard
    to input; people that traditionally used Latin-1 still often use --
    emdashes and ' and " quotes in Unicode texts, because the correct
    characters are hard to type. A bunch of new formatting characters are
    going to be a pain to input and horrible to edit in systems that don't
    have a "show formatting characters option". Most new formatting
    systems are designed to be easy to enter from standard keyboards,
    while your system needs a whole new UI for entering characters.

    If you really need italics and bold in quote-unquote plain text,
    there's an ISO standard of escape sequences for it. Again, it's been
    there for decades; if everyone cared to support it, it would work just
    fine. If there really was enough demand for this, people would have
    supported it or something like it.

    > this means that there are keys for most used sizes and steps
    > like +1pt, +2pt, +5pt, and +10pt.

    Gag me with a spoon. Yay, a formatting system that supports a limited
    number of font sizes, so for any application that currently supports
    half-decent typography has to continue carrying around formatting
    codes for font sizes, that will interact in weird and annoying ways
    with your Unicode-based formatting codes. Just about anything that
    doesn't already support more font-size options then you have there,
    doesn't want to support changing the font size at all. Consoles don't,
    for one example. The common denominator for typography is pretty low.

    Kie ekzistas vivo, ekzistas espero.

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