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

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: bug#20707: [PROPOSED PATCH] Use curved quoting in C-generated errors
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 12:44:51 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.7.0

On 06/10/2015 12:17 PM, Alan Mackenzie wrote:
It seems to me, judging by the number of questions relating to Emacs on
the Linux console I've answered over the years, the number of users is
not small.

I'm afraid there was a miscommunication there. My message was not about people who use the Linux console, a small but hardy band of hackers. It was about people who use the Linux console in an awful mode that can't display curved single quotes. That's not you, and it's not me (and I do use Emacs on the Linux console and I haven't configured it specially), and I doubt whether it's RMS either. Perhaps some people use Emacs that way occasionally, but I'm skeptical that this is a significant problem. If it is, we can easily solve it by automatically doing in Emacs the equivalent of the font substitution I gave the shell script for in a recent message. So this issue is not a fundamental obstacle to the change.

My proposition is that string literals remain constants
just as they are now.  The decision would be made at configuration time,
and a trivial #ifdef in the reader would decide at build time how to
expand the escaped quotes.

Making them constants removes the most serious objection I had to the idea. I wouldn't favor writing documentation that way, as it's ugly to quote \`like this\' when it can easily be quoted ‘like this’. But it could be useful for people who prefer its minor ugliness to having to learn how to type curved quotes, so I suppose we can add it.

However, the configuration-time switch sounds like a non-starter, as it would be one more source of portability hassles and it shouldn't be needed if we get the display problems fixed, which we need to fix anyway. That is, the escapes should simply generate curved single quotes on all platforms.

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