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Re: How many spaces after a period? [WAS: Re: [PATCH 7/7] Prefer $NM @fi

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: How many spaces after a period? [WAS: Re: [PATCH 7/7] Prefer $NM @file over calculating the cmd line length.]
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 22:01:39 GMT

Baffled on several fronts ...

    declaring address@hidden on' conversely indicates the use of a
    single space at the end of a sentence - the exact opposite of how
    the term is normally used:

No, it is not the opposite, it is the normal meaning.  Turning on
"French" spacing means precisely that punctuation does not affect
spacing, which is also what wikipedia is saying.  That is how TeX and
Texinfo have always used the term.

Also, frenchspacing is definitely not the usual typographic convention
in English-language typesetting, so I don't think GNU manuals written in
English should use it.  Normal spacing in English is @frenchspacing off
(the default).

Two space chars vs. one after periods in input files and typewriter-ish
contexts like Info is not exactly the same question as frenchspacing or

    Is there some other mandate that explains why we should go against
    modern typographical conventions and insist on double spaces?

I always thought it was (fundamentally) about Emacs as well.  That's
what rms told me in 1985, anyway :).  At any rate, the convention ever
since GNU started was to have two spaces at the end of sentences.  I
never liked two spaces in my input files either, but I don't see any
percentage in changing it now.

There are plenty of other GCS "rules"/conventions which not every
package follows, so if you can't bring yourself to type the extra space,
the world won't come to an end.


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