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RE: line adjustment at the end of a sentence

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: line adjustment at the end of a sentence
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 07:57:16 -0700

> > I agree generally with everything you said.  Wrt showing no-break
> > space and non-breaking hyphen so that you can distinguish them from
> > SPC and ASCII hyphen, `show-wspace.el' can help.
> I don't think any of those comes anywhere close to the convenient of
> "SPC vs SPC-SPC" in terms of showing the difference without getting in
> the way.

That was not the point.  I was responding to your point that:

> how to distinguish on screen a SPC from a NBSP.  Emacs highlights
> the NBSP specially (because accidental use of NBSP in program code
> leads to trouble) but that's not ideal when reading text that uses
> NBSP between Dr. and Watson or between < and the quoted text.

The `nobreak-char-display' highlighting provided by Emacs is all or nothing (one
variable for both chars together, and not a user option), face not separately
customizable from escape glyph highlighting, and no toggles.

Those are the weaknesses that `show-wspace.el' overcomes for these two chars and
the reason it can help distinguishing them without that always getting in the

And not just those two chars.  You can use it to distinguish any chars you like.

> > There are commands that toggle the distinguishing display 
> > of each on/off
> A really good solution would not require turning it on/off.

It's not about requiring.  Sometimes (and perhaps in some places) you want to
distinguish such chars, sometimes you do not.  You want to be able to pick those
times - i.e., on demand.

Other editors and word processors do this kind of thing all the time, not only
wrt hard-to-detect chars but wrt other things that you sometimes want to see and
sometimes do not: XML element boundaries and attributes, editor text
symbols/artifacts (e.g. pilcro), conditionalized text, and so on.

Just as in Emacs you can choose whether to see control chars using ^ syntax or
\ooo syntax, so you can choose whether and when to see other chars in particular

No DWIM will ever guess just when you want to see what.  You can add heuristics
to try to fit common use cases, but that's all.

See what XML and WYSIWYG editors do in this regard: they offer different "views"
that correspond to common use cases, showing different sets of such things, and
they offer individual toggle commands to handle individual such things.  See
Framemaker, Arbortext Epic, Oxygen, and other XML editors, for example.

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