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bug#20385: [PATCH] Support curved quotes in doc strings

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: bug#20385: [PATCH] Support curved quotes in doc strings
Date: Thu, 14 May 2015 13:49:42 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.0

On 05/14/2015 06:24 AM, Paul Eggert wrote:

The main motivation is that English text shouldn't use grave accent to
quote. It looked good decades ago but the underlying encodings changed
and now it is klunky and offputting.  (It's not as bad as the 1950s
syntax 16HTHIS IS A STRING but that's a low bar....)  Yes, it was a GNU
tradition for many years, but other GNU packages (GCC, coreutils, etc.)
have largely shifted away from it and it's time Emacs made it more
convenient to use the more-standard convention of curved quotes.

The other GNU packages have transitioned to using the straight apostrophes though, didn't they?

I haven't tried font locking.  As I understand it, though, font locking
would address the problem only in doc strings.  For example, it wouldn't
address Emacs's diagnostic messages, which also need to get fixed.  In
contrast, the sorts of solutions I'm proposing should help support
curved quotes nearly everywhere.

The diagnostic messages can be treated differently (use fancy quotes, since we know this text will appear to the user as-is), or whatever code outputs diagnostics could convert the ASCII quotes to the fancy ones on-the-fly.

The patch proposed in Bug#20545 largely addresses this problem.
Contributors can use the same keypresses as before.  If your
contributors type this:

Ah, sorry, that's better. I was under the impression, from a related discussion, that we'll need to type something like `C-x 8 ''.

I reproduced that problem in Thunderbird by visiting "View > Character
Encoding > Auto-Detect" and selecting "Russian".  To fix it, I selected
"(off)" instead of "Russian".

Thank you. Indeed, that is it. As a Russian speaker, though, I'm not going to turn it off.

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