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Re: [groff] [patch] modernize -T ascii rendering of opening single quote

From: Ingo Schwarze
Subject: Re: [groff] [patch] modernize -T ascii rendering of opening single quote
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2019 17:03:25 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.8.0 (2017-02-23)

Hi Ralph,

Ralph Corderoy wrote on Fri, Feb 01, 2019 at 03:22:56PM +0000:
> Ingo Schwarze wrote:

>> If i remember correctly, some time ago, people went through error
>> messages and manual pages and changed single-quoted strings where the
>> opening quote was an "accent grave" to the normal ASCII U+0027
>> APOSTROPHE-QUOTE because rendering single quotes like `this' was
>> considered an anachronism from the mechanical typewriter era.
>> However, the -T ascii output device still renders \(oq as "accent
>> grave", also affecting macro packages that implement single quoting
>> macros in terms of \(oq, for example mdoc(7) .Sq.
>> I propose the patch below to change the -T ascii (and -T latin1)
>> rendering of \(oq from "accent grave" to APOSTROPHE-QUOTE. No other
>> output device is affected.

> Have I got this right?  Currently,
>         $ cat
>         .pl 1
>      3  `ascii' \(oqoq-cq\(cq \(aqaq\(aq \(lqlq-rq\(rq \(dqdq\(dq
>         $
>         $ nroff -Tascii
>      6  `ascii' `oq-cq' 'aq' "lq-rq" "dq"
>         $ nroff -Tlatin1
>      8  `ascii' `oq-cq' 'aq' "lq-rq" "dq"
>         $
> 6 and 8 are identical.  You're suggesting they stay the same and become
>    old  `ascii' `oq-cq' 'aq' "lq-rq" "dq"
>    new  `ascii' 'oq-cq' 'aq' "lq-rq" "dq"


> Thus losing the ability to tell if I mistyped \(oq as \(cq with -Tascii
> or -Tlatin1?


However, ASCII is probably the worst output mode available to check
for typos, in the first place.  Practically anything else is better
for that already now: -T utf8, html, ps, pdf, ...

The point of -T ascii is to get intelligible output on stunted devices,
not to convey the fine details of typesetting.  That doesn't imply
that it needs to look ugly or dated, though.


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