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Re: Questions about isearch

From: Per Starbäck
Subject: Re: Questions about isearch
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2015 17:50:26 +0100

Oh, I have so many thoughts about this, but I'll stick to the
character folding for now, which is why language setting in Emacs has
become a lot more urgent now than it has been during the previous
years I have wished for this.

As I wrote before, ÅÄÖ are really separate letters in Swedish, just
as separate from A and O as U is from V, or I is from J. I wrote:

> To have a search for
> "varpa" in a Swedish text find "värpa" or "varpå" would be just wrong.
> It would give a strong impression of this being an American program
> not meant to be used for Swedish.

One answer I got was that it's possible to turn this off. Yes, it is,
but defaults are important for what impression you give. I haven't
been active on the list for some time, but when I have expressed
opinions on Emacs here before it has often been not thinking about
myself, but thinking about the students that I teach Emacs, so that
*I* can change settings is not enough for my consideration.

Also character folding is a great feature! I don't want to turn it
off! It's just that it's bad to fold characters that are in no way
seen as variants but totally different letters.

There are few languages using Latin letters where it is like that, so
any universal poll will say that this isn't a big problem. (For
example Germans also use Ä and Ö, but much more seen as A-with-Umlaut
than as something separate.)

But to see how this will be received here, imagine that Emacs came
from the Roman empire. (The empire never ended!) Of course we all know
some Latin, so we have no problems with the menus and help texts being
in Latin, even though we often use it for editing texts in other
languages, like English. Now there's a new version with a new feature
character folding, and when you (an American user) try to use the new
version of Emacs you happen to edit a text

                                 Can dualism still be considered valid?

You do a C-s to position yourself at "valid" there, but to your
surprise and irritation you have to type all five letters, because
still at "vali" you are stuck in "dualism" because those imperialistic
Romans think that U and V are the "same" letter. That's just wrong.

So what is the right way out? A possibility to set buffer language
says I. Eli says that a buffer language is not enough:

>  This discussion started from Isearch, so the
> example which underlines the issues is searching for a string with
> character-folding enabled -- this should automatically apply
> language-specific rules when it hits a possible match in the Turkish
> portion, then switch back to English when the match is in the English
> part.

I don't agree, and see this as an important difference between the
language of a segment and the language of a
document (which I would write a lot more about if I didn't try to
stick just to the character folding issue now).

If you are a non-Swede looking at a text including

:  Eli Heckscher referred to this in his "Varpå beror det att några
:  människor är rika och andra fattiga?" from 1913.

and do an Isearch for "varpa" with accent folding on, you *should*
find that "Varpå". You see the text with some "Varpa" with some
diacretical mark, of course you should find it with that search. You
can't be expected to know about Swedish preferences just because there
happens to be a short text fragment in Swedish in the text.

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