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Re: text-quoting-style

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: text-quoting-style
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2015 12:47:56 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Hello, Paul.

On Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 02:29:08PM -0700, Paul Eggert wrote:
> On 08/31/2015 01:13 PM, Alan Mackenzie wrote:
> > On Sun, Aug 30, 2015 at 11:29:27PM -0700, Paul Eggert wrote:
> >> (1) is fixed by using display tables to display curved quotes in grave 
> >> style.
> >> (This has already been implemented and no change should be needed here.)
> > No good.  Having different characters displayed from what's in the
> > buffer is a recipe for confusion, frustration, and anger.

> It's what Emacs does now, and it works well enough.  And the basic idea 
> isn't a new principle: Emacs has done it for decades for many ASCII 
> characters, e.g., HT.  So it is not a problem in practice.

It will be a problem in practice.  It will by lying about what character
in the buffer the glyph on the screen represents.  It will be ambiguous:
seeing a ' on the screen leaves it doubtful what the corresponding
character in the buffer is.  Current uses of display tables aren't used
to confuse users.

> >> (2) is fixed by enabling character-fold-search.  This isn't the default 
> >> yet, due
> >> to a few problems with its implementation, but these should be fixable.
> > No it isn't.  character-fold-search violates the KISS principle,
> > certainly for me personally.

> We could implement it so that it would be quite simple: you search for 
> what you see.  That should be good enough.

Providing what I see is what is there, yes.

> > Problem 3 doesn't concern me personally

> Then let's make it lower priority.

But don't forget people who will be cutting and pasting with tools like

> >> This alternative would be superior to what we have now, because it would 
> >> also
> >> work for info files (which aren't handled by Emacs's current scheme).
> > What's wrong with `text-quoting-style'?

> As I wrote, text-quoting-style doesn't do anything for info files, or 
> for other text files containing curved quotes.

That's an argument for an additional facility for Info, not one for
getting rid of `text-quoting-style', unless the replacement can do the
job of `text-quoting-style'.

> The approach I'm proposing would work for these other cases too, and
> it would avoid the heavy use of translation that Stefan has expressed
> concern about.

I'm not quite up to date with the status of these things.  But I'll be
quite happy if the following hold:
(i) Quotes, apostrophes, and so on, in all our sources will continue to
  be ASCII.
(ii) Emacs can be configured such that the quotes in help buffers,
  messages, etc. are ASCII quotes.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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