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Semiformalishmaybe

Arietta, part 2

Part two of design sketch for Arietta, a programming language/dev environment for blind people.

Some initial decisions, that might be worth revisiting with other programming languages of this sort:

  1. There will be no chording. Not everyone is musically trained enough to recognise chords or to smoothly produce them, the former theoretically being fixable with training, the latter too limiting of input modes for an editor
  2. We will use distinct sigils to mark parts of speech in the language (e.g. immediates, ariable names, maths operators, function calls, etc). In ordinary programming languages, the family of characters a part of speech is composed of is sufficient so this is not necessary and only a few languages do it to any extent. In Arietta, with all characters being sequences of notes, sigils will be much more important
  3. The sigils will be a set of notes, as will the rest of the "word". Pauses between words will delimit them, with length of pause not being language-meaningful but preserved/recorded for program-specific meaning
  4. To whatever extent possible, Arietta will map cleanly to and have similar structures to C, Perl, or Python
  5. There will be an annotated form for code in the language where some or all words are given an English (or other spoken-language or Braille) couterpart, for use by external code. Likewise, comments for code will still likely need to be in a (semi or full) natural language, as descriptive variable names would not work in noteform.
  6. Reverse-annotation will likely be needed to build bridges with foreign libraries/code
There's more to come!

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