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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: Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:21:15 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.8.0 (2017-02-23)

Hi Tadziu,

Tadziu Hoffmann wrote on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 06:44:09PM +0100:
> Somebody wrote:
>> Tadziu Hoffmann wrote:
>>> Somebody wrote:
>>>> ISO 646 removed the ambiguity by assigning the neutral apostrophe
>>>> to 27h and the grave accent to 60h, but strictly, it isn't "ASCII."

>>> So why don't we leave the ascii device as it is and create a new
>>> iso646 device with the proposed changes?

Because the differences between ASCII and ISO646 are not substantial
enough to warrant separate devices; there is value in keeping the
number of features, options, etc., and also the numbers of devices,
as low as possible: it helps simplicity for users, it helps keep the
documentation short and easy to understand, it helps maintenance.
New features, options, devices etc. should only be added when they
provide very important value, which is clearly not the case here.

Besides, the importance of both ASCII and ISO646 is waning nowadays
rather than growing, so now would be an odd millenium for expanding
the user interface related to them.

ASCII continues to have some importance - but IMHO, that lies almost
exclusively in its function as the character set used by the C
locale.  Consequently, splitting ASCII and ISO646 would be very

>> Are you suggesting that iso646 becomes the new `C locale' device
>> to fit that?

> Not at all.  I see the "C" locale as a system administrator's
> or programmer's locale.  This is the clientele that values not
> losing the visual distinction between opening and closing quotes.
> No, the iso646 device would be only for those users who have
> to use a "modern" font with ISO 646 encoding (as opposed to
> old-style ASCII with symmetric quotes) on terminals that do
> not support the full Unicode.
> Myself, I use fonts with symmetric quotes.  I vote for
> groff's ascii (and latin1) device to continue mapping the
> quotes identically from input to output.

Thank you for providing your perspective.

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