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Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ffb6ce 5/5: Quoting fixes in lisp/internationa

From: Oleh Krehel
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] master 9ffb6ce 5/5: Quoting fixes in lisp/international and lisp/leim
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:45:06 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:

>>> I'm not even sure if "don’t" is typographically
>>> better than "don't" (after all, last I checked the little thingy is
>>> supposed to be an "apostrophe", not a "right single quotation mark").
>> Typographically it's not an issue: in non-typewriter English, U+2019 RIGHT
>> SINGLE QUOTATION MARK is supposed to be use for elision (“don’t”), for
>> closing a single quotation (“He said ‘no’.”) and for grammar (“Those are my
>> sisters’ books.”).  It's the same character for all three.  See, for
>> example, <http://www.languagegeek.com/typography/apostrophes.html>.
> I think in the context of Emacs, if we have to choose between ' and ’
> and there's not a strong reason to prefer the non-ASCII char, we
> should stick with the ASCII char.
> The only thing we're trying to fix here is the ugly `...' quoting.
> I don't see any need to change anything else at this stage.

I'd like to present a data point: there are 32725 occurrences of "don't"
in the Emacs git repository, and only 10 occurrences of "don’t".

And to restate my opinion on the matter, since I haven't participated in
this discussion for a few months: Elisp code should be treated as
markup. Markup should be easy to view and enter: and since Emacs' main
language is English, the markup should be easy to enter in the most
common English keyboard layout and be easy to read in the most common
English locale.

If it were up to me, I'd revert everything until there wasn't a single
curly in the code part. Having markup that translates to curlies is
absolutely fine with me. But even that should be configurable, and I
would configure my Emacs to go without the option because I hate to see

Also one of the most popular markup formats - Markdown
(http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax) uses plain ASCII
for markup. One of the reasons for the change in Emacs was something
about texinfo having curlies. Well, Markdown is a competing format that
is way more popular than texinfo. And while a Markdown renderer can
translate "don't" into "don’t", and I'm pretty sure it does so by
default, the markup itself still remains ASCII and is easy to enter,
modify and view.

It's just a matter of convenience, which is one of Emacs' strengths:

- Entering "'" with a single key on my pinky is convenient.
- Entering "’" with "C-x 8" isn't.
- Grepping for "don't.*foo" is convenient.
- Grepping for "\(don’t\)\|\(don't\).*foo" isn't convenient.


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