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Re: `message' with quotes [was: bug#23425: `message' wrongly corrupts '

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: `message' with quotes [was: bug#23425: `message' wrongly corrupts ' to curly quote]
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2017 17:49:43 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

Hello, Drew.

On Wed, Jun 07, 2017 at 15:05:51 -0700, Drew Adams wrote:
> `text-quoting-style' controls this (at least in Emacs 25).
> So at least you can bind that to `grave' around any code
> that uses `message', to get back the sane, pre-Emacs 25
> behavior.

> Given that, is there any reason for Alan's proposed new
> format escapes to to tell Emacs: "Hands off my quotes!"?

Being accurate, these sequences tell Emacs "please translate to the
user's preferred version of quotes".

> Of course, you should not HAVE to do that.  That should
> be the _default_ behavior: no crazy quote translation.


> `electric-quote-mode' is DISabled by default.  We got one
> thing right!

> Why is it that the crazy quote translation for help and
> `message' happens by default, and you have to jump through
> a nearly secret hoop to get back the sane behavior?

> That makes no sense.  It's an incompatible change that
> affects all older code as well.

> The default for `text-quoting-style' should be the
> misleadingly named `grave' behavior, i.e., preserve the
> long-established behavior of just leaving ` and ' alone.

Yes.  It should also leave literal curly quotes untouched (I believe it
does this).

> Instead, it is a value that gives you curly quotes when
> available.  That behavior should not be the default (and
> it really should have a value such as `prefer-curly', not
> `nil').

> Then, anyone wanting to be adventurous or what s?he
> considers "modern" could always bind it to `prefer-curly'
> or whatever, to get today's misguided default behavior,
> or to `curve' to always get translation-to-curly.

> This one we got backwards.

> It's not too late to change the default behavior of
> `text-quoting-style'.  (But it is probably too late
> to change the meaning of `nil' for it.)  Just make
> the initial value `grave', not `nil'.

> It's also a mistake to (in effect) hide this variable
> from ordinary users, instead of making it easy for them
> to express their preferences in this regard.

This is a thing which reinforces the impression that curly quotes were
foisted surreptitiously on users.  The normal Emacs way is to make such
things configurable in a customisable option.

> This is what the Elisp manual says about it (it is not in the Emacs
> manual at all):

>   This variable can be used by experts on platforms that
>   have problems with curved quotes.  As it is not intended
>   for casual use, it is not a user option.

Yes.  How about _users_ who have problems with curved quotes?

> That couldn't be more misguided.  Experts?

I don't see any need for particular expertise to use this variable.

> Only platforms that have "problems with curved quotes"?  Not for casual
> use?  It's a self-styled "style" variable, but it's not for you or me.
> Sheesh.  Why?  What happened to the interests of individual users?


Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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