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

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [groff] [patch] modernize -T ascii rendering of opening single quote
Date: Sat, 02 Feb 2019 14:59:21 +0000

Hi Ingo,

> It is not outright impossible, but i doubt that would be a wise
> course.

I agree, given your reasoning.

> And the correct way to mark up a single-quoted string in low-level
> roff(7) is \(oq...\(cq, with the rendering decided by the output
> device.

I think you're incorrect there.  Using «`'» as input has always been a
correct way to get single left and right quotes; see CSTR 54 2.1.

> in man(7), i'm not aware of any reasonable alternative to writing
> \(oq...\(cq directly in the manual page source code when authors want
> single quoting.

Due to some, all?, man renderers trying to keep a shell backquote as a
paste-able backquote, for example.

    .\" For UTF-8, map some characters conservatively for the sake
    .\" of easy cut and paste.
    .if '\*[.T]'utf8' \{\
    .  rchar \- - ' `
    .  char \- \N'45'
    .  char  - \N'45'
    .  char  ' \N'39'
    .  char  ` \N'96'

> It doubt that the benefit of avoiding the ugly ` ' in ASCII output is
> worth these (at least) three downsides.

Whom is this change is meant to benefit?  I've lost track.
Surely all you hepcats with your UTF-8 TTYs and Unicode fonts see «‘’».
Could it be those that will see ASCII output in practice align with
those that are happy to stick with seeing «`'»?

Cheers, Ralph.

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