Re: parsability

Hans-Peter Diettrich <>
Sun, 08 Feb 2015 20:49:45 +0100

          From comp.compilers

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Re: parsability (Robin Vowels) (2015-02-09)
Re: parsability (Hans-Peter Diettrich) (2015-02-08)
Re: parsability (2015-02-09)
| List of all articles for this month |

From: Hans-Peter Diettrich <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2015 20:49:45 +0100
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 10-11-017 15-02-009 15-02-011 15-02-017
Keywords: parse
Posted-Date: 08 Feb 2015 19:11:55 EST

Robin Vowels schrieb:

> A number of special characters have traditionally acquired multiple uses.
> The asterisk, parentheses, apostrophe, colon, period, feature heavily
> on account of the limited number of characters available in equipment
> of the era (48-character set, 60 character set, etc.) and continue to do so
> for historical reasons.

IMO the real and persistent limit is the keyboard, with a limited number
of keys. Increasing the number of keys is not a solution, because then
it may be more time consuming to find an special key, instead of reusing
a character or typing more characters. Why didn't APL succeed in the
long run?

OTOH there exist languages (and speakers) of languages with bigger
character sets, like Japanese or Chinese. What if people, used to
according input methods (character composition...), started to invent
and use dedicated glyphs for keywords and operators, in new programming
languages? Wouldn't this prevent coders of other *natural* languages
from using such a *programming* language, for its unreadability and
complicated keying?


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