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Re: fix quotes for @samp

From: Per Bothner
Subject: Re: fix quotes for @samp
Date: Mon, 01 Aug 2005 16:22:09 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.6-1.1.fc4 (X11/20050720)

Karl Berry wrote:
Regarding HTML quotes, ‘ and ’ are surely better in theory,
but I seem to remember that I tried putting them in not too long ago and
got a lot of complaints.  But I guess we can try it again, maybe things
are better.  I see that we're doing “ and ” now, so what the
heck.  I installed it.


Actually, we could go even further.  Your patches change the output for
@samp, but how about making `...' in straight text output

You mean if the texinfo source contains `...' we should translate it to ‘...’? I guess we could but it seems awfully magic. There is the risk that ` and ' really are used as separate characters, rather than symmetric quotes.

Regarding quotes in Info output, I really don't think changing the
default output is worth the inevitable trouble.  I also don't think the
output should depend on the locale of the person who runs makeinfo; Info
output gets shipped around, installed on different computers, etc.

I agree - but see below.

Instead, seems to me that the right thing to do is make the output
respect @documentencoding, and support utf-8 there.

But according to the texinfo manual, @documentencoding specifies the encoding of the *input* texinfo document. What does that have to do with the whether to use Unicode in the into *output* - which as you said is shipped all over the place.

and support utf-8 there.  Of course this is
not exactly trivial, but it is the path we have started down.  E.g.,
makeinfo --enable-encoding on a document with @documentencoding
ISO-8859-1 will produce 8-bit Info files.

This seems wrong, unless info-reading programs can determine which encoding is used. This is worse than depending on the locale of the person running makeinfo. Depending on the encoding specified in the texinfo document for the default encoding can never be the right thing.

Regarding quotes in general, I expect you will be unhappy to hear that
after the latest discussion on gnu-prog-discuss (a couple months ago by
now), I expended a fair amount of effort discussing it with rms, Bruno,
Paul Eggert, and others, and the consensus was that we had to stick with
`...' for default (C locale) output, that nothing else was widely
supported enough

Plain '...' is widely supported, and correct, though non-optimal.

+ 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.

This is, I believe, wrong. It should be "preferably 0x27 (@samp{'}) for both left and right quotes". See the link in my original message (http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/quotes.html). Gcc now emits 'xxx' in the C locale.
        --Per Bothner
address@hidden   http://per.bothner.com/

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