Allen's lambda syntax proposal

Breton Slivka zen at
Thu Dec 4 14:31:03 PST 2008

On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 7:49 AM, David-Sarah Hopwood
<david.hopwood at> wrote:
> Mark S. Miller wrote:
>> [...] "\" has taken the lead....
> There's still #, @, and ` (and of course keywords like lambda and fn).
> None of these are as mnemonic as \, but they leave \ as a purely
> lexical escape character.
> It's quite ironic that we are still limited, as Church was, in
> which characters we can use for the modern equivalent of
> "typographical reasons".
> --
> David-Sarah Hopwood

this may be a stupid question, but why? Is it really so impossible to
have λ(a,b,c){}  ?
You guys seem to have no trouble typing it. It's not that much trouble
to remap a key, and you can always keep lambda(a,b,c){} as a more
verbose but more accessable alternative. IDEs could make a macro out
of it so you wouldn't even have to bother with going to the trouble of
remapping. Nearly all computers on the planet have a greek alphabet
installed on them. And keep in mind, we're not designing a language
for tomorrow. We're designing a language for 10 years from now. λ
could be way more convenient to enter by then, particularly if it's in
an upcoming spec for a programming language.

I admit this seems ludicrous at its face, but admittedly I have not
really seen the arguments against λ as an abbreviated lambda syntax

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