[swift-evolution] Thoughts on replacing \() with $() or some other symbol

David Hart david at hartbit.com
Tue Jun 21 17:57:41 CDT 2016

Entirely agree. \ makes total sense as the one-and-only escaping character. I also have no trouble typing it.

> On 21 Jun 2016, at 23:55, Brent Royal-Gordon via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
>> I find that typing \(var) is very disruptive to my typing flow. The more I code in Swift, the more I like it, but every time I'm coding and then have to hiccup while typing \ then ( causes me to be annoyed. I know, it's minor, but it isn't a key combination that flows quickly.
>> I would much rather have $() or perhaps ${} (like Groovy lang) or perhaps @() to go along with other uses of @ throughout the language. 
> Even though I'm used to Perl's and Ruby's interpolation syntaxes, I immediately liked `\(…)`. It's parsimonious: Rather than taking a third character (besides \ and ") to mean something special in a string literal, it reuses one of the existing ones. There's no need to escape a character you wouldn't otherwise have to touch, or to think of another character as "magical" in a string. It fits nicely with the rest of the syntax, with `\` indicating a special construct and then `()` delimiting an expression, just as they do elsewhere in the language. It's an elegant solution to a problem traditionally solved inelegantly. It's very Swifty in that way.
>> A shifted key, like $ or @, followed by another shifted key like (, allows for a much faster flow and they are much closer to the home keys than \ which is nearly as far from home keys as possible (and awkward). 
> I don't have any trouble typing it personally. If you find yourself accidentally typing `\9` or `|(`, we could probably offer an error for the former or warning for the latter with a fix-it. But if you're complaining that it takes a tiny fraction of a second longer to type than `$(` would, then honestly, I just can't bring myself to care. Swift optimizes for code reading. If we wanted to optimize for code typing instead, we'd have a very different style.
> -- 
> Brent Royal-Gordon
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