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Re: ASCII-only startup message?

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: ASCII-only startup message?
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2015 21:10:25 +0200

> Cc: address@hidden
> From: Paul Eggert <address@hidden>
> Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2015 10:45:23 -0800
> Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> > That text is a comment we insert into *scratch*; it's not a doc
> > string.
> Sure, but the same considerations apply to it that would apply to any text in 
> commentary and documentation. The text should use good English style.

We have agreed to make these changes in documentation and in
messages.  I don't think we have agreed to do this in any other text
that just happens to be run through substitute-command-keys for
whatever reasons.

> > We shouldn't
> > produce non-ASCII characters in comments, it's a user prerogative.
> This is Emacs's comment, one that Emacs creates and inserts, so user 
> prerogative 
> does not apply here.

Exactly!  So Emacs should do that.

> > The adverse effect of inserting non-ASCII characters shows when your
> > locale's codeset is not UTF-8: if you want to save that buffer or any
> > part of it that includes this comment, you get annoyed by the request
> > to specify a suitable encoding (because*scratch*  correctly starts
> > with the locale's default encoding).
> This sort of thing is far more likely to happen with *Help* and *Info* 
> buffers 
> than with the *scratch* buffer. If it is a problem, it needs to be fixed in 
> general, so that any far-more-likely scenario is fixed. Changing the startup 
> string is likely to paper over any real problem, and so is counterproductive.

I don't want to restart old longish threads.  What we do in *Help*
buffers was already decided, and I don't want to open that decision.

The *scratch* buffer is different.  We explicitly say that it is for
notes.  Users might want to save some of those notes.  The *scratch*
buffer is correctly created in the user locale's encoding, so we
should not put there characters that cannot be encoded in that
encoding.  Unlike with display, inserting locale-dependent text in
this case sounds like not a good idea (think uniformity).  Changing
the encoding of that buffer doesn't sound correct, either: the user
should be able to type there anything in their locale's language, and
be able to save that in the locale's encoding.  So I simply quoted
these apostrophes.  I really don't see what's the big deal, we never
agreed to have these curved quotes in *scratch*, not even discussed
that, AFAIR.  It's an unintended side effect, as far as I'm concerned.
So I fixed it.  The change doesn't modify the startup string, on the
contrary: it returns it to what it has been for eons.

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