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Re: [gettext] changequote considered harmful

From: Bruce Korb
Subject: Re: [gettext] changequote considered harmful
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 07:45:05 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (Windows/20050317)

Gary V. Vaughan wrote:
The style that fulfills goals 1 and 2 here is like this:

    # Found it, now check the version.
    ]AC_MSG_CHECKING([version of bison])[

I.e. put braces around everything, but unbrace the macro invocations and
don't [use] dnl comments.

In the bad old days, before I understood this idiom, I used to write (and libtool still contains code in this style :-():
which, as you point out is ugly and error prone. More recently I have been writing code as you describe above, and life is much better. Whether the style is widely accepted or understood yet is not an issue IMNSHO, it is *correct*... and that is far more important. It will become acceptable style as more projects adopt it when they realise it is the technically correct thing to do!


Hi Gary, et al.,

The start/end quote phrases are too small.  Bad autoconf design decision.
Also, it is a very bad idea to require that code that invokes m4 macros
be aware of the quote character used within a macro.  Very bad m4
design decision.  It is too late to fix either.  The only way out now
is some unambiguous style guide for this stuff that says, "Always quote
this way, with only a few well-documented exceptions."  I don't reread
the docs very often, but I hope progress is being made that way.  :)
Anyway, I don't think unquoting macros is a bad idea at all.  :-}

Cheers, Bruce

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