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Re: Change of Lisp syntax for "fancy" quotes in Emacs 27?

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Change of Lisp syntax for "fancy" quotes in Emacs 27?
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2018 14:52:09 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.5.2

On 02/02/2018 02:24 PM, Noam Postavsky wrote:
In Bug#30217, Drew Adams strongly objects to this change. I don't want
to "sneak" this in, so I'm asking here for people's thoughts on this.

I see two main categories of users here, with different needs. Less-expert users are likely to run into problems with quotes and other characters (that's why we got bug reports), and appreciate diagnostics pinpointing the problems; also, programmers concerned about security are likely to want these confusing characters to be diagnosed, to prevent an attacker from sending code that is easily read one way but actually operates in a different way. On the other hand, programs that generate Elisp code might prefer not having to special-case these characters. So perhaps there should be a buffer-local variable that controls which behavior is selected. The default behavior should be the one that caters better to general users and is safer.

While we're on the topic, I suggest using the Unicode confusables list <http://www.unicode.org/Public/security/10.0.0/confusables.txt> to come up with a list of confusing alternatives for each character that has a special meaning in Emacs Lisp. This should be better than our trying to come up with our own, ad-hoc list. For example, U+A78C LATIN SMALL LETTER SALTILLO (ꞌ) looks almost exactly like an apostrophe on my screen and is in the confusables list, but is not a character that Emacs currently checks for.

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