[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

From: Yuri Khan
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ce1d38: Use curved quotes in core elisp diagnostics
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 23:08:27 +0600

On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 9:48 PM, Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> wrote:

> 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.

Correct. Using Emacs as the input method is not feasible for users of
other applications.

My current method of entering curly quotes is comparable to entering
brackets on a German keyboard — hold down right Alt, press a single
key. I find it good enough for such infrequent characters.

>> 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.

“Everybody” is not using a terminal at all. “Everybody” uses a
graphical desktop. Including, in some circumstances, a terminal
emulator. Xterm, for one, does not support all of Unicode equally
well, but curly quotes are unproblematic.

> The Linux virtual terminal, which I use, is currently limited to
> 256 distinct glyphs.

Actually 512 if you sacrifice 8 of the 16 colors, and there is
possibility of replacing it with fbterm or other framebuffer-based

> Yesterday, Eli
> Z. reported a problem on an MS-Windows terminal which couldn't display
> these characters at all.

I used to use Windows, including the Windows console, as my primary
environment. It displays most of the European part of Unicode
allright, once you configure it to use a TrueType or OpenType font.
CJK is harder (because most Han characters want to occupy two
character cells each) and RTL is harder still, but, again, curly
quotes are unproblematic.

Some applications (notably, ports of Unix utilities) have problems
displaying Unicode on the Windows console. That is a bug in those

>> (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.

For output, the solution is a graphical environment. With TrueType,
OpenType or otherwise vector-based scalable fonts, rendered through a
facility which supports Unicode, ligatures, combining diacritics, RTL,
complex scripts, rich formatting and whatnot.

For input, my current setup involves two layouts (for English/Latin
and Russian/Cyrillic), which differ in their 1st and 2nd levels, but
have common 3rd and 4th levels, activated with right Alt with and
without Shift. This accommodates like 99.99% of my typing needs. For
the remaining cases, I resort to a character map application or to
Emacs’ insert-char.

I don’t think I am losing much for it. I am vaguely aware that having
two Alt keys is more convenient than just one but, to be frank, I also
under-use right Shift and right Ctrl. (My first computer did not have
a right Shift; that might have influenced my typing habits.)

New keyboard designs are emerging which provide more keys intended to
be pressed with thumbs. This is ideal for multi-level layouts. The
classic AT keyboard with only 0.5 to 1.5 keys per thumb needs to give

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]