Subject: Re: On whitespaces and new-line
From: Steve Downey (sdowney_at_[hidden])
Date: 2021-03-25 14:46:21
>From https://www.unicode.org/reports/tr44/tr44-26.html#White_Space -
UnicodeÂ® Standard Annex #44 UNICODE CHARACTER DATABASE
B N Spaces, separator characters and other control characters which should
be treated by programming languages as "white space" for the purpose of
parsing elements. See also Line_Break
which classify space characters and related controls somewhat differently
for particular text segmentation contexts.
And from PropList.txt, where the White_Space binary property lives
0009..000D ; White_Space # Cc  <control-0009>..<control-000D>
0020 ; White_Space # Zs SPACE
0085 ; White_Space # Cc <control-0085>
00A0 ; White_Space # Zs NO-BREAK SPACE
1680 ; White_Space # Zs OGHAM SPACE MARK
2000..200A ; White_Space # Zs  EN QUAD..HAIR SPACE
2028 ; White_Space # Zl LINE SEPARATOR
2029 ; White_Space # Zp PARAGRAPH SEPARATOR
202F ; White_Space # Zs NARROW NO-BREAK SPACE
205F ; White_Space # Zs MEDIUM MATHEMATICAL SPACE
3000 ; White_Space # Zs IDEOGRAPHIC SPACE
New-line is a bit more complicated because in some contexts it's a line
break in source, however that is designated, and other times it is exactly
the control character '\n', whatever the value of that is.
Raw string literals make this visible, and there's a note that says that
line breaks in source are to be encoded as \n in the execution string.
On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 9:46 AM Corentin via SG16 <sg16_at_[hidden]>
> As indicated in the telecon, here is a mail full of whitespaces and line
> The issues with whitespaces and line breaks are multiple.
> - We are not consistent about the spelling of whitespace - Editorial PR
> - We are not consistent about using "whitespace character" or just
> "whitespace". I believe the solution here would be to make whitespace a
> grammar term
> - We should use the unicode name, in upper case to spell the various
> whitespaces when they are mentioned
> - new-line is sometimes a grammar term, sometimes not
> I believe the solution for all of these issues is to introduce and use
> grammar terms for both new-line and whitespaces
> *Unicode whitespaces and newlines*
> The list of new lines is as follows
> LF: Line Feed, U+000A
> VT: Vertical Tab, U+000B
> FF: Form Feed, U+000C
> CR: Carriage Return, U+000D
> CR+LF: CR (U+000D) followed by LF (U+000A)
> *NEL: Next Line, U+0085LS: Line Separator, U+2028PS: Paragraph Separator,
> The list of additional whitespaces is as follow
> U+0009 HORIZONTAL TAB
> U+0020 SPACE
> *U+200E LEFT-TO-RIGHT MARKU+200F RIGHT-TO-LEFT MARK*
> The whitespaces not supported by C++ are in bold.
> That list poses some challenges for C++ and implementations
> These additional whitespaces are not in the basic latin block, which would
> require implementations to expect arbitrary unicode in places where they
> might not currently.
> I am not sure that the cost/benefit ratio justifies adding these
> Furthermore, i think it would be ill-advised to consider LTM and RTM in
> C++ as these change
> the directionality of text. Which, as sensible as it is in multilingual
> prose poses interesting challenges in C++, challenges which have already
> been discussed in the context of UAX31.
> NEL is of coursed used by ebcdic but could be mapped in phase 1 to LF as
> is recommended by
> As such, I do not think extending the set of new lines and whitespaces has
> much value.
> *New lines*
> There is, however, a catch there. There always is.
> The mapping of a new line character to any other new line character is not
> observable, except for
> the purpose of raw-string literals.
> Which is the subject of CWG-1655
> I believe that, for the user perspective it is reasonable that raw-strings
> the line terminator appropriate for the target platform.
> It's also in line with the ideas that non-visible characters should not
> impact the semantics of programs and that source code should be portable.
> I believe the following mechanism would provide the desirable observable
> 1/ In phase 1 or 2, after transcoding to Unicode, replace any new-line
> sequence (CR,LF,NEL, CRLF) by LF (in the same way all whitespaces and
> comments are replaced by SPACe in phase 4)
> 2/ define new-line to be an implementation-defined sequence of abstract
> character representable in the literal and wide literal encodings, (for the
> benefit of escape-sequences, raw strings and chrono)
> 3/ In phase 5, before converting to the execution encoding, replace each
> LF by a new-line in raw string literals
> The good news is that we can improve all of that without going to EWG
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