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

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ce1d38: Use curved quotes in core elisp diagnostics
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:48:57 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Hello, Yuri.

On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 09:09:51PM +0600, Yuri Khan wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 11:35 PM, Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> wrote:

> > What I object to is _non-working_ characters - characters which appear
> > on nobody's keyboard (see Bastien's question about typing curly quotes)
> > and are problematic to display (See Eli's recent post, for example).

> It’s these two problems which need fixed.

> We need keyboards (or input methods) which offer a convenient way to
> enter typographically correct quotes and dashes and other essential
> punctuation, because otherwise people fall back to their
> easier-to-enter ASCII substitutes.

There are already input methods for curly quotes (C-x 8 [ and C-x 8 ], I
believe), but whether these will ever count as "convenient", I somehow
doubt.  Even typing [ and ] on a German keyboard layout (just as an
example) is somewhat less than convenient.

One solution is to enhance our own personal keyboard layouts, but that
isn't a solution for our users.  Nothing practical we can come up with
is going to be as easy as just hitting key number 41 and key number 40.

> We need terminals which are capable of displaying the whole repertoire
> of Unicode, because otherwise we have to make a choice of the subset
> we’d like to be able to see.

Such terminals probably exist.  However, they're not what "everybody" is
using.  The Linux virtual terminal, which I use, is currently limited to
256 distinct glyphs.  I've had a look at the code, with a view to
enhancing it, but it is not well maintained and easily adaptible code.
Displaying the curly quotes in it is not unproblematic.  Yesterday, Eli
Z. reported a problem on an MS-Windows terminal which couldn't display
these characters at all.

One of the outstanding features of Emacs is that it will run equally
well in "any" environment.  This property is well worth preserving.

> Making these two long-standing problems more visible is a good thing.

Visible to whom?  We definitely don't want to make them visible to our
users.  That will just make them annoyed and resentful.

> (As far as I am concerned, both are solved problems already. It’s just
> that the solutions are not mainstream enough.)

I'd be interested in hearing a bit more about what you see as the
solutions.  Usually, you don't get something for nothing, and I'd bet
that these solutions come with their own disadvantages, compared with
what "everybody" is currently using.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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