[swift-evolution] A path forward on rationalizing unicode identifiers and operators

David Sweeris davesweeris at mac.com
Wed Oct 4 12:45:38 CDT 2017

On Oct 3, 2017, at 21:47, Chris Lattner <clattner at nondot.org <mailto:clattner at nondot.org>> wrote:

>> On Oct 3, 2017, at 4:05 PM, David Sweeris <davesweeris at mac.com <mailto:davesweeris at mac.com>> wrote:
>>> On Oct 2, 2017, at 10:06 PM, Chris Lattner <clattner at nondot.org <mailto:clattner at nondot.org>> wrote:
>>> On Oct 2, 2017, at 9:12 PM, David Sweeris via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org <mailto:swift-evolution at swift.org>> wrote:
>>>>> Keep in mind that Swift already goes far above and beyond in terms of operators
>>>> Yep, that's is a large part of why I'm such a Swift fan :-D
>>> Fortunately, no one is seriously proposing a major curtailing of the capabilities here, we’re just trying to rationalize the operator set, which is a bit of a mess at present.
>> I guess I don't really understand why it's currently "a bit of a mess”.
> Read the motivation/inconsistency section of:
> https://github.com/xwu/swift-evolution/blob/7c2c4df63b1d92a1677461f41bc638f31926c9c3/proposals/NNNN-refining-identifier-and-operator-symbology.md <https://github.com/xwu/swift-evolution/blob/7c2c4df63b1d92a1677461f41bc638f31926c9c3/proposals/NNNN-refining-identifier-and-operator-symbology.md>
>>> Set algebra is an illustrative example, because it is both used by people who are experts and people who are not.  As far as policies go, I think it makes sense for Swift libraries to define operator-like things as named functions (e.g. “intersection") and also define operators (“∩”) which can optionally be used in source bases that want them for convenience.  The compiler and language cannot know whether a code base is written and maintained by experts who know the symbols and who value their clarity (over the difficulty typing and recognizing them), and this approach allows maintainers of the codebase to pick their own policies.
>> Oh, yeah, I can't imagine a situation in which I'd think it'd be a good idea to not define a named function to go along with a unicode operator. I'm mainly concerned that we not limit the people in 5) unless we need to. And to be clear, if we actually need to, then I'm fine with doing that... It's just that -- like I said earlier in this message -- I don't clearly understand why this is a problem.
> Sure, that’s fair.  This is an issue we’ve been tracking since the Swift 2.x (!) days, so there is a lot of context that is probably not immediately obvious if you haven’t been following it since then.  The proposal link above talks about the damage that we still carry.

Oh! I didn't realize the proposal had already been written! Yeah, that clears things up quite a bit, thanks for posting it :-)

Xiaodi Wu, I’m sorry I ever doubted you :-)

- Dave Sweeris
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