MathGroup Archive 1994

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operator characters

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: operator characters
  • From: madler at (Mark Adler)
  • Date: 10 May 1994 16:46:04 GMT

Mathematica's parsing of symbols is claimed to be simple.  There are
operator characters and text characters, where the latter are defined
as any character that is not the former.  So, what I'd like is the
definitive list of operator characters.  Should I use those characters
in the special forms list in appendix A?  What characters other than
space qualify as a space?

What I'd really like is a Mathematica built-in function that tests
for an operator character (OperatorQ?).  Then if Mathematica ever
extends or contracts its set of operator characters, I wouldn't have
to worry about it.  (This is for a simple parser as part of a $PreRead

In the meantime though, I'd like to see the definitive list.  I could
conclude from another part of appendix A that the operators are any
ASCII printable character that's not a letter, digit, or $.  However,
I know that that's not complete, since tab can be a space.  So what
else is missing?  Carriage return?  Line feed?  Backspace maybe?

Mark Adler
madler at

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