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Re: etc/HELLO markup etc.

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: etc/HELLO markup etc.
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2018 10:12:37 +0200

> Cc: address@hidden, address@hidden,
>  Emacs Development <address@hidden>
> From: Paul Eggert <address@hidden>
> Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2018 13:07:09 -0800
> [removing address@hidden and adding address@hidden to cc list]

I've changed the Subject, as the original one was too similar to the
bug report.

> 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.

I'm not yet sure this is only about Han unification.  Using charsets
for specifying fonts is a general feature in Emacs, which can be used
to control which fonts are selected independently of what the OS
facilities such as fontconfig do.

I hope Handa-san will be able to comment on this stuff.

If Han unification is the only important user of the charset property,
then yes, we could remove the rest of the charset info from HELLO.
But please realize that the current HELLO just keeps the information
that was there before recoding it in UTF-8, nothing was added.  It is
just kept in a different form, which makes the charset info
human-readable, where previously it was encoded in the ISO 2022

> > 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"

That's not the original purpose of that file.  The purpose is to show
scripts, not languages, and to show how we display different scripts
in the same buffer.

> 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

If the usual way is via find-file and its ilk, then you should see the
same results as with "C-h h", so I'm not sure I understand what you
mean here.

> etc/HELLO is littered with so much useless markup

I disagree that it's useless.  Most of it is useful.

> 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

If you mean manually editing the markup, then you aren't supposed to
do that.

In what way most of what you say is not applicable to etc/enriched.txt
in general?  If you just dislike what Enriched mode produces on disk,
then let's stop this argument, as you seem to be arguing against files
with markup in general, and that's a non-starter for me.

> the file is not a good showroom for how to maintain multilingual
> text.

What other facilities are you aware of or can suggest for showing
multilingual text with such level of detail and precision?

> 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.

Which errors?  I don't think we discovered any errors.  We may have
discovered some markup on whitespace where we perhaps could do without
it (I'm not yet sure of that), but that's all, and is not necessarily
an error.

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