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[PATCH] Add new entity \-- serving as markup separator/escape symbol

From: Ihor Radchenko
Subject: [PATCH] Add new entity \-- serving as markup separator/escape symbol
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 21:17:32 +0800

Ihor Radchenko <yantar92@gmail.com> writes:

> I am attaching a tentative patch that will make Org export remove
> zero-width spaces when those spaces actually separate the object
> boundaries.
> Any objections?

Given the raised objections, zero-width space does not appear to be a
useful escape symbol because it has its valid uses as a standalone space

The raised objections can be solved using some kind of intricate
heuristics, but I do not feel like it is a good direction to go. The
code will be too complex and fragile.

Therefore, I am proposing a different approach for shielding
fontification: introducing a special entity.

The new entity is \--, which is a valid boundary between emphasis
markup. It will be removed during export (replaced by "").

"\--" specifically is somewhat arbitrary choice. The actual requirements
for the entity name are: (1) No clash with LaTeX (which is why simpler
\- would not cut it); (2) Being a valid markup boundary: entity must end
with (any space ?- ?\( ?' ?\" ?\{).

I am attaching a tentative patch introducing the new entity. Note that
some minor tweaks to the parser were needed. I do not see it as a big
deal - the current entity regexp has much more cumbersome exceptions.

Also, the patch will not work correctly on org → org export, similar to
pointed in one of the replies to the previous abandoned approach. I do
not want to address it here because a much more appropriate solution for
this issue is changing org-element-interpret-data.

Consider (org-element-interpret-data '("asd" (bold () "bold") "bsd"))
This will return "asd*bold*bsd", which is not correct even though the
given Org datum is not wrong by itself - such things can easily appear
when user filters are applied to parse tree during org→org export.

Otherwise, the patch should be good enough to play around and kick-start
the discussion.



>From 521a4b06578cf37f22e9f33d2f45b967419ad3a3 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Ihor Radchenko <yantar92@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 21:02:26 +0800
Subject: [PATCH] Add new entity \-- serving as markup separator/escape symbol

* lisp/org-entities.el (org-entities): Add \-- entity.  This entity is
exported as an empty string and simply serves as markup separator if
the user needs any.
* lisp/org.el (org-fontify-entities):
* lisp/org-element.el (org-element-entity-parser):
(org-element--set-regexps): Update entity regexp to match "-".
 lisp/org-element.el  | 4 ++--
 lisp/org-entities.el | 4 ++++
 lisp/org.el          | 2 +-
 3 files changed, 7 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/lisp/org-element.el b/lisp/org-element.el
index 9e9b7c5ec..6405b4db8 100644
--- a/lisp/org-element.el
+++ b/lisp/org-element.el
@@ -258,7 +258,7 @@ (defun org-element--set-regexps ()
                      ;; Objects starting with "\": line break,
                      ;; entity, latex fragment.
-                     "\\\\\\(?:[a-zA-Z[(]\\|\\\\[ \t]*$\\|_ +\\)"
+                     "\\\\\\(?:[-a-zA-Z[(]\\|\\\\[ \t]*$\\|_ +\\)"
                      ;; Objects starting with raw text: inline Babel
                      ;; source block, inline Babel call.
@@ -3158,7 +3158,7 @@ (defun org-element-entity-parser ()
 Assume point is at the beginning of the entity."
   (catch 'no-object
-    (when (looking-at "\\\\\\(?:\\(?1:_ 
+    (when (looking-at "\\\\\\(?:\\(?1:_ 
        (let* ((value (or (org-entity-get (match-string 1))
                          (throw 'no-object nil)))
diff --git a/lisp/org-entities.el b/lisp/org-entities.el
index d35e3fa8a..9d79d23fc 100644
--- a/lisp/org-entities.el
+++ b/lisp/org-entities.el
@@ -264,6 +264,10 @@ (defconst org-entities
      ("rsaquo" "\\guilsinglright{}" nil "&rsaquo;" ">" ">" "›")
      "* Other"
+     "** Escaping Org markup"
+     ("--" "" nil "" "" "" "")
      "** Misc. (often used)"
      ("circ" "\\^{}" nil "&circ;" "^" "^" "∘")
      ("vert" "\\vert{}" t "&vert;" "|" "|" "|")
diff --git a/lisp/org.el b/lisp/org.el
index 937892ef3..29ccff83b 100644
--- a/lisp/org.el
+++ b/lisp/org.el
@@ -5828,7 +5828,7 @@ (defun org-fontify-entities (limit)
        ;; i.e., "\_ ", could be fontified anyway, and it would be
        ;; confusing when adding a second white space character.
        (while (re-search-forward
                limit t)
          (when (and (not (org-at-comment-p))
                     (setq ee (org-entity-get (match-string 1)))

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