[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: ASCII-only startup message?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: ASCII-only startup message?
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 2015 10:39:07 -0800 (PST)

> >> > Any evidence for your claim that ' is in Unicode only for
> >> > compatibility between "left single quotation mark" and "right
> >> > single quotation mark"?  Do you think that is even the most
> >> > common use case for ' in old-fashioned plain text, whether
> >> > typewriter or computer?  ", yes, but '?  I don't think so.
> > And I never said it was "clear cut" - I said "I don't
> > think so", and I _asked_ what Per thought.
> No, you asked, then you _told_ him what _you_ thought.

Yes, what I _think_.  And I still think so, even given your
welcome guess that it might not be so true for British writers
as for Americans.  I never said or suggested that it was clear
cut or obvious.  On this, so far, all has been only conjecture.

The real question (to Per) was whether there is evidence for
the claim that ' is part of Unicode only for quotation-mark
compatibility and not for compatibility between quotation
mark and apostrophe, in spite of its Unicode character name
(which is APOSTROPHE).

I added the subsidiary question about main past typewriter
and computer use because I do _think_ that ' has probably
been used more as apostrophe, which would tend to support
its incorporation into Unicode (with the name APOSTROPHE!)
for compatibility that includes apostrophe.

I would think that claiming that the name is a mistake or
inaccurate wrt the intention, would call for some support.
Even an exchange in a Unicode mailing list where someone
suggests that the name is misguided would offer support.

> There’s a rather large difference between the two in how I, as a reader,
> interpret what you wrote, so even if you intended to say what you said
> you intended, that’s not how a reader would understand it.

Do you see anywhere where I said or suggested that this
question is clear cut?  I'm writing pretty fast, to keep
up with the friendly replies of several of you ;-), but I
don't think I ever suggested such a thing by what I've

If I did, let me correct that impression by emphasizing:
It is my _guess_ that most of the occurrences of ' (ASCII
apostrophe) "in old-fashioned plain text, whether typewriter
or computer" are for uses as apostrophe and not as closing
quotation mark.

On this particular (not so important) question, we are all
just guessing, so far.  (And BTW, I did not ask Per for
evidence wrt this extra question, but only what he thinks.)

> I didn’t reply to create further reasons for argument in
> this thread, so I’m sorry if that’s been the result.

The thread has been a bit contentious at times.  Apparently
this is a hot button.  I don't think anyone has tried to get
excited about the question, but arguments have not always
remained 100% cool and logical.

I'm not a linguist or a Unicode expert.  As one Emacs user,
I support Eli's decision to use ' and not ’ in *scratch*.

I don't think that Emacs must necessarily follow what Unicode
"prefers" wrt using a given character as an apostrophe, but
it can make up its own mind, which can be context-dependent
and which should (hopefully) take Emacs's own needs as a text
editor and programming environment into consideration.

> I think the point you’ve
> raised in regard to U+2019 not being an especially well chosen
> apostrophe is valid and that U+02BC was, perhaps, a better choice.  In
> the end, they went with what was easier for software current at the
> time to handle, thus falling victim for the same sins that their
> forebears did.

And yes, there are real problems with using U+02BC currently
(e.g., tool and font support), which make it not a good choice
for Emacs either.  (I did not suggest that Emacs use it as such.)

> That said, continuing to use the worst of the three (U+0027)
> is not something that I agree with.

Maybe we can agree to disagree about that.  I don't think it
is the worst in general - for Emacs, primarily because of its
much greater ease of use.

Reading about the problems of text-processing systems in dealing
with U+2019 for things like spelling (it is not a character that
is considered part of a word), and seeing the hoops that we are
now trying to jump through with Emacs to support search & replace
for it properly, does not make me confident that we should be
broadcasting it everywhere now as our apostrophe.

There is urgency to completely support Unicode for users.  And
Emacs has pretty much done that.  And it will be good to further
support Unicode by improving search and replace that involves
such characters.

But there should be no urgency to impose such characters on
users in contexts where we do not need to at present.  And
*scratch* is a perfect example of such a context.  (IMHO)

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]