Using Spanish question mark `¿` for `missing` short syntax?


#1

I saw the debate on GitHub over ?? T? ?= etc. being used for nothing, and I thought, maybe a Spanish upsidedown question mark could be used? It’s generally easy to type (a single keystroke on the Mac, even without a Spanish keyboard, simply “option ?”, and probably similar on Windows).
It would be fairly easy to remember then, ? always deals with nothingness (programmer’s null), and ¿ deals with missingness (SQL null, 3VL).

Just a thought!


#2

Or, even more cute, ¿?, which is used in Spanish to indicate stupefaction (I wonder if that’s the best word?) A text bubble with “???” in a comic would be “¿?” translated to Spanish.


#3

I have no idea how to type that with windows, which is becoming an issue cause I do need to write in spanish… But i am a fan of smaller printing for missing and nothing!


#4

I was curious as well. In Windows it is Alt + 168
Or ctrl+alt+shift+’/’ in Word.


#5

I think (IIRC - been years since I’ve used Windows) it depends on what keyboard layout you select.
For Julia, I think people would be using an international one (like I do on my Mac, the US International PC layout instead of the default US)

I was trying to think of any combination of 2 ASCII characters (one of them being ?, or else a single Unicode character), so that it would be simple to remember.

One of these ?! ?| ?$ ?/ ?> maybe?


#6

Indeed on the US-International layout it is accessible via right-alt+’/’ (according to wikipedia, I didn’t bother switching layouts just to confirm it).

Might I suggest !?
since ? is meant to denote nothing, and ! generally is negation then !? says “not nothing” to me, which is similar to the idea of ‘missing’. It’s not nothing, it’s just missing.


#7

The only thing, that requires a space or some separator, because ! can be part of a name (and frequently is, for methods that modify there arguments)


#9

By the way, I like the idea of !?, I just wanted to point out that it would require a space between an identifier and !? (which is always a good idea to do anyway for readability).