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bug#20707: [PROPOSED PATCH] Use curved quoting in C-generated errors

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: bug#20707: [PROPOSED PATCH] Use curved quoting in C-generated errors
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2015 22:46:16 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Hello, Paul.

On Tue, Jun 09, 2015 at 01:49:47PM -0700, Paul Eggert wrote:

>  > The abstract principle at work here is that ASCII quotes are
>  > @dfn{working} characters, whereas the curly quotes are merely
>  > @dfn{display} characters.

> Curved single quotes are also "working" characters, both in Emacs 
> (master branch) and in Texinfo (latest stable version).

They're not, no matter how conventient it would be for your argument for
them to be so....

> It's true that not every keyboard can generate them in every Emacs
> context with just a single keypress, ....

.... largely for this reason.

> but that's also true for many ASCII characters.

Also untrue, for the large class of keyboards which are based on the
Latin alphabet.  That's on the sensible principle that "single
keypresses" encompass the auxiliary depression of the shift key.  There
are European keyboard layouts which require the AltGr key for some rarer
characters.  But there are NO working characters which require a
monstrosity such as C-x 8 * ?, (which is a display character to me, but a
working character for a Spaniard, who'll have a proper key for it.)

> In practice the data entry problem is not that big a deal.

It's one extra hassle, one further tedious thing to have to be learnt,
one which will bring no exquisite joy to the learner.

Using 0x60 and 0x27 as single quotes isn't a big deal either, for that

>  > I meant change the appearance of your 0x27 apostrophe

> It's not my apostrophe.

The one on your own machine is, and you're just as capable of changing
its appearance as I am of changing my console font.

> It's the appearance of U+0027 APOSTROPHE in most environments nowadays.
> You may not like its appearance, and I may not like it either, but it's
> a waste of our time to reargue this now.  The appearance has been
> common practice for many years, and Emacs should work well out of the
> box in common and standard environments.

Emacs should work well out of the box in ALL supported environments.

Just as another data point, the standard default Linux console font,
default8x16 displays the curly single quotes as inverse question marks.

[ .... ]

> That's easy enough.  Just take lat1-16.psfu and run this shell script:

[ .... ]

For the umpteenth time, the matter at hand is not the setting up of my
personal machine.  It's the fate of users of the Linux console in
general, of whom I am just one.

>  > So, it's going to be a pain in the posterior for most, if not all, users
>  > of Emacs on terminals,

> No, it works fine for users of Emacs on terminals in most environments 
> (gnome-terminal, xterm, etc.).

These all run under X.  We're in danger here of descending to arguing
about what words like "terminal" and "environment" mean.

> It works fine even on most Linux consoles, where curved single quotes
> display as curved single quotes out of the box.


> Ordinary users shouldn't have to fiddle with font files; things just
> work.

Indeed they shouldn't; indeed they should.  I'm glad we can agree on

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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