[swift-evolution] define backslash '\' as a operator-head in the swift grammar

Slava Pestov spestov at apple.com
Tue Feb 7 01:04:31 CST 2017

I really have nothing to add to this discussion, except for this fun fact: apparently, the backslash was added to ASCII so you could write /\ and \/ operators: http://www.bobbemer.com/BACSLASH.HTM <http://www.bobbemer.com/BACSLASH.HTM>


> On Feb 5, 2017, at 7:29 AM, Nicolas Fezans via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> Dear all,
> This is a rather simple proposal to add '\' (backslash character) as a valid operator-head in the swift grammar.
> One argument for it, is that there exist a backslash operator in the MATLAB/Scilab/Octave languages. In this languages A\B solves the linear system A*X = B for X (or the least square problem associated to it if the system of equations is overdetermined). I am doing some numerical computation in Swift and it would be nice to be able to declare the same operator name for this functionality.
> I might have missed some arguments for not adding them, but I seems to me that until now the \ character is only used inside of string literals. If that is the case, both uses should never generate a conflict or be ambiguous, isn't it? (String literals keep their interpretation of \ and \ used otherwise within the swift code will be interpreted as an operator or as the beginning of an operator)
> I am curious to see what will be the feedback on this.
> Nicolas
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