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Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ce1d38: Use curved quotes in core elisp diagno

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ce1d38: Use curved quotes in core elisp diagnostics
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2015 09:53:37 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.8.0

Alan Mackenzie wrote:

The main change here is that from now on, particularly if so-called
Electric Quote mode [*] is used, we're going to end up with a chaotic
mix of ascii quotes and curly quotes in our source code.

Although I also would prefer a simpler approach (one that consistently uses curved quotes), you've objected to that, necessitating a "chaotic" compromise.

The fact that
one "needs" such flaccid workarounds like EQM and the folding of quote
characters with quote characters in (some of) the searching code should
be taken as a hint just to stop and think hard.

For years Emacs has had significant problems in editing and searching and generating non-ASCII text. Making Emacs better in this area will inevitably have teething problems, and we'll inevitably come up with worse solutions before coming up with better ones. But we shouldn't just do nothing: these are real problems that need to be addressed.

Insisting that Emacs developers live and work in an ASCII ghetto has contributed to these problems, as it has led us to discount the importance of non-ASCII editing in the real world. (I've been guilty of this as the next guy, by the way -- I'm not trying to cast aspersions on anybody in particular.) It'll be helpful to break out of these old mindsets, and if regularly using a few non-ASCII characters in Emacs source will help us do that, then that'll be a good thing.

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