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Re: [PATCH] standards: rewrite section on quoting

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: [PATCH] standards: rewrite section on quoting
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 17:08:49 -0800

I agree with Paul, using `...' in the source files should be clearer.
How about this?  (I made a few other small English changes.)  It's a
little clunky yet.


--- standards.texi      23 Dec 2011 00:30:29 -0000      1.210
+++ standards.texi      23 Dec 2011 01:06:15 -0000
@@ -3187,8 +3187,28 @@ be the best choice.
 @cindex left quote
address@hidden right quote
address@hidden opening quote
address@hidden single quote
address@hidden double quote
 @cindex grave accent
-In the C locale, GNU programs should stick to plain ASCII for quotation
-characters in messages to users: preferably 0x60 (@samp{`}) for left
-quotes and 0x27 (@samp{'}) for right quotes.  It is ok, but not
-required, to use locale-specific quotes in other locales.
+In the C locale, the output of GNU programs should stick to plain
+ASCII for quotation characters in messages to users: preferably 0x22
+(@samp{"}) or 0x27 (@samp{'}) for both opening and closing quotes.
+It is ok, but not required, to output locale-specific quotes in other
+locales.  However, you should never use Unicode in the C locale.
+That's for the output.  In source files, you should stick to ASCII and
+use the ASCII character 0x60 (@samp{`}) for opening quotes.  That way,
+translators can distinguish opening and closing quotes.  If you
+support internationalization, translators should be able to provide
+their own quote characters.  By convention, the string @samp{"`"} will
+be translated to the opening quote and the string @samp{"'"} will be
+translated to the closing quote.
+If the output of your program is ever likely to be parsed by another
+program, it is good to provide an option that makes this parsing
+reliable.  For example, you could escape special characters using
+conventions from the C language or the Bourne shell.  See for example
+the option @option{--quoting-style} of GNU @code{ls}.
@@ -3200,18 +3220,2 @@ character.  See the Gnulib documentation
-In any case, the documentation for your program should clearly specify
-how it does quoting, if different than the preferred method of @samp{`}
-and @samp{'}.  This is especially important if the output of your
-program is ever likely to be parsed by another program.
-Quotation characters are a difficult area in the computing world at
-this time: there are no true left or right quote characters in Latin1;
-the @samp{`} character we use was standardized there as a grave
-accent.  Moreover, Latin1 is still not universally usable.
-Unicode contains the unambiguous quote characters required.  However,
-Unicode and UTF-8 are not universally well-supported, either.
-This may change over the next few years, and then we will revisit

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