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Languages that accept characters beyond ASCII (Was RE: Veering)

Steve Rowe clarified:

> John Cowan wrote:
> > Perl 5.6 AFAIK is still ASCII-only.
> Perl understands UTF-8, though full Unicode support is not yet
> implemented.
> From the Perl 5.6.0 perlunicode manpage:
> - Identifiers within the Perl script may contain Unicode alphanumeric
> characters, including ideographs.
> - Character classes in regular expressions match characters instead of
> bytes, and match against the character properties specified in the
> Unicode properties database. So \w can be used to match an ideograph,
> for instance.
> Steve

Just a reminder, but the meaning for \w, \s, etc., (ergo, the concept of a
delimiter) for plain text is drastically different for human languages which
use ideographs.

When discussing the use of ideographs as tag names and other
programmatically parsed identifiers, we must be careful to make the
distinction between the human languages on the one hand, and the artificial
languages which are borrowing characters from the human languages on the

(I understand that many early attempts to use Japanese in programming
languages tried to use natural Japanese parsing, and thus earned Japanese
characters a reputation for seriously slowing compilers down.)

Joel Rees
programmer -- rees@mediafusion.co.jp
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