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Re: 27.0.50; Use utf-8 is all our Elisp files

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: 27.0.50; Use utf-8 is all our Elisp files
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2018 13:07:09 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.2.1

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Eli Zaretskii wrote:
Which markup is not necessary for display, in your opinion?

At most all that's useful is markup that distinguishes Chinese and Japanese variants of Han characters; this might also include hanja (Korean) and Chữ Nôm (Vietnamese) variants if we ever added such characters to etc/HELLO. Such markup might be useful because a significant set of east Asian users dislike Unicode's Han unification and prefer specific variants of Han characters. I'm not aware of any other set of users who dislike unification in that way.

That markup is precisely what keeps the charset properties on the
corresponding greetings.  Removing it would be losing information that
HELLO is trying to preserve.

Although the etc/HELLO markup might be of interest to those who care about annotating languages in the text, it's irrelevant to the ordinary purpose of that file, which is to show textual translations of "Hello", as examples, to an audience that doesn't know all those languages, but who can easily see the language names in the English (or native-language) parts of the text without involving any of the markup.

It's a bit like reading a translation of (say) "War and Peace". Most people just want to read the translated text. A small fraction might want to know which part of the original was written in Russian, which in French, which in English, etc. Markup can help that small fraction, but just gets in the way of the primary use.

Is it possible that you are looking
at a file/buffer that was modified from its original contents?

No, I was using Emacs 26 by mistake. Sorry about the noise.

It's still not a good user interface, though, as it is difficult to see the markup's effect when visiting etc/HELLO in the usual way, and this makes it hard to see mistakes in the markup. etc/HELLO is littered with so much useless markup, and the effect of markup errors is so subtle, and it's so much of a pain to edit the markup in its ordinary form of display, that the file is not a good showroom for how to maintain multilingual text. It's not a good sign that there seem to be errors in the possibly-useful (i.e., CJ) markup that nobody has noticed since the markup was introduced in May, and that I noticed these errors now only because I was visiting the file literally.

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