[swift-evolution] Taking advantage of our character space

Jonathan Hull jhull at gbis.com
Fri Oct 7 18:22:54 CDT 2016

This is a quick one.  It would be nice to take advantage of all the wonderful characters that swift can use.  Not only unicode, but some of the less-used ASCII as well.

In particular, I would like to see:

1) Allow the ‘π’ character as a FloatingPoint literal.  We can use CGFloat.pi and Double.pi right now, and I am not asking to replace that (since depending on the nationality of your keyboard, it can be simple or difficult to type), but π just reads much better. Would be good to have it as an option.  It would also be nice to be able to combine it with numbers in the literal (e.g. 2π)

2) Allow ≤, ≥, ≠ for less than or equal, greater than or equal, and not equals.  This was one of the first extensions I made when I began using swift.  I would really like to be able to use it in frameworks as well.  Again, it doesn’t need to replace <=, >=, !=, it just adds polish and readability for those who want to use it.  You can even use my extension on comparable if you so desire.

When I brought this up before there was push-back because it would "clutter the namespace".  I don’t think that is a valid argument though because any other use of the symbols π, ≤, ≥, and ≠ would be downright confusing. If you are creating a variable named ‘π’ and sticking something other than pi in it, that is just asking for trouble.  Same with the operations.  May as well use them for the one thing they make sense for…

Also, little touches are what make a language enjoyable.


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