Shawn Steele Shawn.Steele at microsoft.com
Wed Jun 4 10:53:59 CDT 2014

I’m sort of confused why Unicode would be a big deal.  C# & other languages have allowed unicode letters in identifiers for years, so readable strings should be possible in almost any language.

It’s a bit cute to include emoji, but I’m not sure how practical it is.  It also makes me wonder how they came up with the list, I presume control codes aren’t allowed?  Or alternate whitespace?  I assume they use some Unicode Categories to figure out the permitted set?

I rarely see non-Latin code in practice though, but of course I’m a native English speaker.


From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at unicode.org] On Behalf Of Mark Davis ??
Sent: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 2:41 AM
To: Andre Schappo
Cc: unicode at unicode.org
Subject: Re: Swift

Apparently you can use emoji in the identifiers. ��



— Il meglio è l’inimico del bene —

On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 11:28 AM, Andre Schappo <A.Schappo at lboro.ac.uk<mailto:A.Schappo at lboro.ac.uk>> wrote:
Swift is Apple's new programming language. In Swift, variable and constant names can be constructed from Unicode characters. Here are a couple of examples from Apple's doc http://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/ios/documentation/Swift/Conceptual/Swift_Programming_Language/TheBasics.html

let π = 3.14159
let 你好 = "你好世界"

I think this a huge step forward for i18n and Unicode.

There are some restrictions on which Unicode chars can be used. From Apple's doc

"Constant and variable names cannot contain mathematical symbols, arrows, private-use (or invalid) Unicode code points, or line- and box-drawing characters. Nor can they begin with a number, although numbers may be included elsewhere within the name."

The restrictions seem a little like IDNA2008. Anyone have links to info giving a detailed explanation/tabulation of allowed and non allowed Unicode chars for Swift Variable and Constant names?

André Schappo

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