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[Texmacs-dev] Proposal for consens: Quotation mark styles

From: Norbert Nemec
Subject: [Texmacs-dev] Proposal for consens: Quotation mark styles
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 11:29:16 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.5.4

I'll try to summarize what I see as the current consens. Please give comments. 
(The following is meant as a suggestion for a long-term goal from the view of 
a user, not taking into account the ease of implementation, not setting any 
timeline. Further discussion should go to address@hidden)

The naming of different quotation mark styles, as listed by Andreas Seidl:

"english"-quotation style:
> 66-99 rule, both upper quotes
> Pseudo-ASCII: ``double quoted text''
> html: double: “ - ” single: ‘ - ’

"french" quotation style:
> Pseudo ASCII: <<double quoted text>>
> html: double: &laquo - &raquo; single: &lsaquo - &rsaquo

"german"-quotation style:
> 99-66 rule, lower opening quotes, upper closing quotes
> Pseudo ASCII: ,,double quoted text``
> html: double: &bdquo; - &ldquo; single: &sbquo; - &lsquo;

"swiss" quotation style:
> Pseudo ASCII: >>double quoted text<<
> html: double: &raquo; - &laquo; single: &rsaquo; - &lsaquo;

Be aware that these are just names. I don't know how official they are, but 
they seem fit for TeXmacs internal use and for further discussion. Other 
styles may follow.

Internal handling
Every style should be supported in every language environment so the user can 

My personal proposal:
* support "hard-coded" quotation marks as well as "automatic" quotation marks. 
* The hard-coded marks should be displayed and printed independant of any 
environment setting. It should not be too simple to enter hard-coded 
quotation marks, so they are really only used in special situations.
* The automatic marks should be displayed and printed depending on a 
configurable option. This option should have a default depending on the 
language of the text, but it should be possible to override that default by 
some variable setting. Automatic quotation marks should be simple to enter by 
keyboard. See next section.

Keyboard sequences
This will probably have to be dependant on the language.

For double quotes, Germans and English speakers only have one key  ["], 
anyway, it is fairly simple to decide from the context whether opening or 
closing quotes should be used: leading whitespace indicate opening quotes, 
leading letters indicate closing quotes, most leading special characters 
indicate closing quotes (except "(", "[", "\"" and maybe a few others)

The Alt-l/Alt-r technique can be used to override that automagic behavior by 

I guess, most German speakers would prefer to type ["] even if they want to 
see swiss quotes.

I have no idea yet, how single quotes should be entered. The [']-key would 
usually be used for apostrophes, the [`] is not really handy if it is 
configured as dead-key for assembling accented characters. Proposals?

What keys are French speakers used to use for typing quotes?

Language defaults
In most languages, there is exactly one correct quotation mark style. In 
German, several styles are used. The majority of the big publishers use swiss 
quotations in books. There are a few others using french or german quotation 
mark style. The default should clearly be swiss quotation mark style, but it 
should be simple to override this default. People should not be forced to use 
hard-coded quotation marks just because they don't like the default look of 
automatic quotation marks.


______________________Norbert Nemec <address@hidden>

    Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
    Institut für Theoretische Physik III
    Staudtstr. 7  ...  D-91058 Erlangen  ...  Room No. U1.526
    Tel: +49 9131 / 85-28816  ...  Mobile: +49 179 / 7475199

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