Long options?

From: Lars Aronsson
Subject: Re: New poll. PRO MINUS MINUS. ANTI MINUS EQUALS.
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 91 01:54:30 +0100

In gnu.announce R M Stallman wrote:

`--' as a prefix,
`-=' as a prefix,

* How easy is it to type each of these alternatives.

In the beginning was the Unix and the Unix spoke and said “Hello world\n.” Not did it say “Hello New Jersey\n,” nor “Hello USA\n.” But it said “Hello world\n.” For the joy of good computing is not for USAmericans alone, but for the whole world to share. And the Unix saw that this was good.

And so says the holy manual, that a USAmerican keyboard layout has minus and equals, both unshifted, on two keys next to each other. But the book of internationalization of the holy manual says that so is not the case in some other countries. For example, says the book of internationalization, a Swedish keyboard has minus, unshifted, on the key corresponding to USAmerican slash, while the equals, on the same keyboard, is typed as a shifted digit zero.

Thus, teaches us the gospel, the sequence “-=” as a prefix for long options would be very hard for Swedish computer users (and many others world wide) to type.

* How error-prone are they.

Dunno.

* How esthetically clean are they.

Of course, the “long minus” (“--”) is an ideal prefix for “long options.“ I congratulate the inventor of this idea and hope it wins.

Original email