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Re: obscure new display features

From: Dave Love
Subject: Re: obscure new display features
Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 01:17:26 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

> Unicode is entitled to its opinion, but we do not necessarily
> follow Unicode's opinion.

It's not an opinion, it's a statement of fact about line breaking in
general even if you don't accept the semantics of U+00AD as a format
character.  Even if you reject the conventions of other languages, you
don't necessarily insert a hyphen at the end of a broken line in
either British or American English.  (TeX defines `\slash' for

The _opinion_ now embodied in Emacs that Latin-1 0xAD is a
non-breaking hyphen -- contrary to its definition -- and that the
Latin-2 version isn't, seems to be completely unsupported.  Amongst
the programs that apparently treat it as soft hyphen on this GNU
system are lynx, mozilla, yudit, openoffice and latex.  Obviously if
it _is_ non-breaking, it shouldn't appear at the end of the line.

> If the opinion is based on reasons, those reasons may be valid.  It
> would be useful for us to look at those reasons.  If you tell us what
> they are, we can look at them.

Read the Unicode chapters concerning the relevant characters and
line-breaking properties.  I don't remember which they are.

As I said, I'm _not_ advocating changing the behaviour of 0xAD to be
non-displaying, for instance.  I _am_ advocating that you don't define
characters to be different to how everyone else defines them and end
up internally inconsistent when people use describe-character with the
Unicode database and find that what you define as no-break hyphen is
actually soft hyphen and no-break hyphen is something else.

To get back to the main point, are people saying that it's obvious to
users why these things are treated as they are and how to turn that
off?  Otherwise, is the argument that they shouldn't care, so it
shouldn't be customized for instance?

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