# [plt-dev] Unicode is a pain

2009/9/16 Robby Findler <robby at eecs.northwestern.edu>:
>* 2009/9/16 Anthony Cowley <acowley at seas.upenn.edu>:
*
>>* In Aquamacs, I just hit C-\ to toggle it, and then all the usual TeX
*>>* macros work, with auto-completion.
*>*
*>* That's a bit different than DrScheme: in DrScheme, it isn't a mode;
*>* you hit control-\ after typing a tex command. It would be good to have
*>* a way to get autocompletion there, but I'm hesitant to add yet another
*>* mode.
*
This might be a bike shed discussion, but I much prefer the way
Mathematica handles the entering of mathematical symbols to
the DrScheme way.
In Mathematica one must activates "symbol entering mode" before
entering the character name. This is done via an easily found key stroke
(as opposed to the more cumbersome C-\ BTW: On non-US keyboards
\ is missing, so C-\ requires pressing three keys at the same time).
Mathematica chose ESC as the key to enter char-inserting-mode.
The carret changes visual appearence (to a verticl dotted line instead
of a solid vertical line). Then one enters the character name, and
finally one hits ESC again. It is works very nicely because ESC is
easy to hit.
Mathematica defines quite a few short cuts for the common characters
such as ESC a ESC for alpha, ESC => ESC for Leftrigtarrow etc.
http://reference.wolfram.com/mathematica/tutorial/EnteringGreekLetters.html
http://reference.wolfram.com/mathematica/tutorial/OtherMathematicalNotation.html
I noticed the difference between the two mind sets when I recently wrote
a program containing alpha, beta and gamma.
--
Jens Axel Søgaard