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

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ce1d38: Use curved quotes in core elisp diagnostics
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:17:56 -0700 (PDT)

> I think you may have misunderstood what the controversy is about.
> It's not about adding or not adding support for curly quotes and curly
> ellipses in users' documents.  It's about whether or not to replace
> ` and ' in Emacs's source files' error messages and comments with
> curly quotes, for a perceived aesthetic benefit, at the cost of making
> those files more difficult to maintain, particularly in environments which
> aren't X-windows.

AND at the cost of confusing ordinary text quotation (which, naturally,
uses curly quotes, both double and single) with mention, within passages
of ordinary text, of things that the text wants to talk about: code
fragments such as symbols and sexps, as well as key sequences, file names,
and URLS.  IOW, the kinds of things that are often distinguished from
ordinary text by setting them off in a fixed-width font (such as Courier).

IOW, regardless of the (important) problems Alan mentions, about
difficulty of use, burden of maintenance, misfit with existing
code-oriented tools, and complication of user and core code (layers and
layers of ugly workarounds) -- i.e., even if those problems were not a
problem, it is misguided to treat setting off code etc. using ordinary
text quotation.  It introduces confusion and is information lossy.

> We're _all_ trying to push Emacs forward.  It's just we sometimes
> don't fully agree what direction forward is.  :-)

Not to mention the effect on many others who will deal with the
consequences without having voiced anything about the direction.
(And yes, I'm sure there will be many end users who will not get
beyond a first blush of "Look Ma, curly quotes now!  How pretty!")

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