Mac / PC Scripting issues

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Fri Oct 17 15:58:44 EDT 2003

Stephen Messimer wrote:

> I think I understand what you mean by low ASCII. Not having memorized
> either the Mac or PC character sets this becomes an issue when I am
> using a particular character. It would be nice to have a simple list
> that points out areas where the two character sets diverge.


No memorization required: as a general rule, if you have to use the Option
key to enter it it's an OS-specific high-ASCII character.

Keep in mind that some valid chars have special purposes in Transcript, like
"[]" for denoting arrays, "^" for exponents, "\" for line continuation, "&"
for concatenation, etc.

And remember that that really low ASCII (0-31) are control characters that
have special purposes in all ASCII usages, like ASCII 13 for carriage return
and ASCII 9 for tab.

Given these two considerations, for var and handler names you're best served
by sticking to alphanumeric chars and underscores.  Periods are accepted by
the interpreter as part of a var or handler name but should not be relied on
in anticipation of OOP implementation in a future version of the language.

It's my understanding that the few Mac-specific chars entered with the
Option key in HyperCard (e.g., Option-L, ¬, for line continuation) are
supported by the interpreter for compatibility with Mac-specific xTalks;
they are not recommended because non-Mac systems do not display them
properly, but I believe they still work (at least ¬ and ‚, but I haven't
tried others).

 Richard Gaskin 
 Fourth World Media Corporation
 Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any Web site
 Ambassador at
 Tel: 323-225-3717                       AIM: FourthWorldInc

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