PROPOSAL: Language Escape Operator

Schulz, Stefan schulz at
Fri Mar 27 01:40:30 PDT 2009

> On my standard US ascii keyboard its just a single keypress, 
> no shift, 
> no ctrl, just `

On my standard German keyboard, it requires a shift-` plus space, as the back-tick-key is a dead key. The same holds (at least) for Austrian and French keyboards (different combination).

> The sugared form is JUST A VIEW, an EDITABLE VIEW, but still JUST A VIEW.

If it's a view, solely handled by some IDE, neither visible in persistence nor common editors, I don't understand the use for adding it to the language as reserved character. As a developer, I don't even want to see that the code I just wrote is an IDE only sugaring (maybe I want to by some color or marker outside the source). And as the sugar would (or should) be recognizable by the IDE, what is the back-tick for?
Gilad Bracha wrote a blog post* on a related idea for "skinning" a programming language (in his case Newspeak). If one has an intelligent IDE (that does more than simple folding), allowing skins could be a nice thing, but wouldn't require any language support itself.



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