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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: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 13:23:36 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.8.0

Wolfgang Jenkner wrote:
I'd think that "common modern practice" for GNU projects is described in
(info "(gettext) po/LINGUAS").

IIUC, the description there recommends that the usual "ugly" quotes
should be used in source files and translated at run time according to
the locale.

gettext caters to C and that part of its manual makes sense for languages like C, because portable C programs can't easily put non-ASCII characters into string literals and C programmers don't have a practical alternative to putting "ugly" quotes of some sort into their string literals. This sort of uglification isn't necessary for Emacs Lisp, though.

If Emacs were to use gettext, presumably it would wrap every English-language diagnostic in a call to gettext, even diagnostics that don't involve quotes. For example:

  (format (gettext "Buffer %S has a running process; kill it? ")
          (buffer-name (current-buffer)))
  (format (gettext "‘add-to-list’ can't use var ‘%s’") sym)

We'd also need ask the Translation Project to maintain a set of translations for all the Emacs diagnostics. This would work regardless of the quoting style used in the source code, and would be a good project to do, if someone wanted to do it. It'd be a much bigger project than fixing quoting, though, as the set of changes involved to Emacs would be more complicated than the above simple examples suggest.

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