Unicode versus ASCII symbols

Unicode symbols and their ASCII equivalents

The following Unicode symbols can be used in Perl 6 without needing to load any additional modules. Some of them have equivalents which can be typed with ASCII-only characters. These variants are often composed of more characters than the Unicode versions and so they look bigger.

Reference is made below to various properties of unicode codepoints. The definitive list can be found here: http://www.unicode.org/Public/UCD/latest/ucd/PropList.txt.

Alphabetic Characters

Any codepoint that has the Ll (Letter, lowercase), Lu (Letter, uppercase), Lt (Letter, titlecase), Lm (Letter, modifier), or the Lo (Letter, other) property can be used just like any other alphabetic character from the ASCII range.

Numeric characters

Any codepoint that has the Nd (Number, decimal digit) property, can be used as a digit in any number. For example:

my $var = 19# U+FF11 U+FF19 
say $var + 2;  # OUTPUT: «21␤» 

Numeric values

Any codepoint that has the No (Number, other) or Nl (Number, letter) property can be used standalone as a numeric value, such as ½ and ⅓. (These aren't decimal digit characters, so can't be combined.) For example:

my $var = ⅒ + 2 + Ⅻ; # here ⅒ is No and Rat and Ⅻ is Nl and Int 
say $var;            # OUTPUT: «14.1␤» 

Whitespace characters

Besides spaces and tabs you can use any other unicode whitespace character that has the Zs (Separator, space), Zl (Separator, line), or Zp (Separator, paragraph) property.

Other acceptable single codepoints

This list contains the single codepoints [and their ASCII equivalents] that have a special meaning in Perl 6.

Symbol Codepoint ASCII Remarks
« U+00AB << as part of «» or .« or regex left word boundary
» U+00BB >> as part of «» or .» or regex right word boundary
× U+00D7 *
÷ U+00F7 /
U+2264 <=
U+2265 >=
U+2260 !=
U+2212 -
U+2218 o
U+2245 =~=
π U+03C0 pi 3.14159_26535_89793_238e0
τ U+03C4 tau 6.28318_53071_79586_476e0
𝑒 U+1D452 e 2.71828_18284_59045_235e0
U+221E Inf
U+2026 ...
U+2018 ' as part of ‘’ or ’‘
U+2019 ' as part of ‘’ or ‚’ or ’‘
U+201A ' as part of ‚‘ or ‚’
U+201C " as part of “” or ”“
U+201D " as part of “” or ”“ or ””
U+201E " as part of „“ or „”
U+FF62 Q// as part of 「」 (Note: Q// variant cannot be used bare in regexes)
U+FF63 Q// as part of 「」 (Note: Q// variant cannot be used bare in regexes)
U+207A + (must use explicit number) as part of exponentiation
U+207B - (must use explicit number) as part of exponentiation
¯ U+00AF - (must use explicit number) as part of exponentiation (macron is an alternative way of writing a minus)
U+2070 **0 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
¹ U+00B9 **1 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
² U+00B2 **2 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
³ U+00B3 **3 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
U+2074 **4 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
U+2075 **5 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
U+2076 **6 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
U+2077 **7 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
U+2078 **8 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
U+2079 **9 can be combined with ⁰..⁹
U+2205 set() (empty set)
U+2208 (elem)
U+2209 !(elem)
U+220B (cont)
U+220C !(cont)
U+2286 (<=)
U+2288 !(<=)
U+2282 (<)
U+2284 !(<)
U+2287 (>=)
U+2289 !(>=)
U+2283 (>)
U+2285 !(>)
U+227C (<+)
U+227D (>+)
U+222A (|)
U+2229 (&)
U+2216 (-)
U+2296 (^)
U+228D (.)
U+228E (+)

Atomic Operators

The atomic operators have U+269B ⚛ ATOM SYMBOL incorporated into them. Their ASCII equivalents are ordinary subroutines, not operators:

my atomicint $x = 42;
$x++;                # Unicode version 
atomic-fetch-inc($x); # ASCII version 

The ASCII alternatives are as follows:

Symbol ASCII Remarks
⚛= ⚛ ⚛+= ⚛-= ⚛−= ++⚛ ⚛++ atomic-assign atomic-fetch atomic-add-fetch atomic-sub-fetch atomic-sub-fetch atomic-inc-fetch atomic-fetch-inc this is the prefix:<⚛> operator this operator uses U+2212 minus sign
⚛-- atomic-fetch-dec

Multiple codepoints

This list contains multiple-codepoint operators that require special composition for their ASCII equivalents. Note the codepoints are shown space-separated but should be entered as adjacent codepoints when used.

Symbol Codepoints ASCII Since Remarks
»=» U+00BB = U+00BB >>[=]>> v6.c uses ASCII '='
«=« U+00AB = U+00AB <<[=]<< v6.c uses ASCII '='
«=» U+00AB = U+00BB <<[=]>> v6.c uses ASCII '='
»=« U+00BB = U+00AB >>[=]<< v6.c uses ASCII '='