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Re: fix quotes for @samp

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: fix quotes for @samp
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 01:10:59 +0200

    You mean if the texinfo source contains `...' 

I expressed myself badly, sorry.  What I really meant to suggest was
translating ` by itself to ‘.  It is never used as a standalone
grave accent (really too bad ASCII included such a useless character),
it is always a quote.  ' we can't do anything about.

    @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*

Nothing in principle, but having a separate option to change the output
is yet another massive feature that is unlikely to be ever be

    unless info-reading programs can determine which 
    encoding is used.

The encoding is indeed included in the output, in a Local Variables:

    This is, I believe, wrong.  

For GNU, "wrong" is defined by rms, no one else.

I have read mgk25's web pages many times (and tons of others, and the
Unicode standard, and blah blah blah), and I know about gcc's new
output.  I told him all that (although to be honest I myself prefer
`...' also, for various reasons).  Doesn't matter, from rms' point of
view.  It is of course true that ASCII/Unicode/etc. do not condone using
` as a left quote, but using '...' loses information.  He wasn't willing
to do that without a concrete plan for changing the way doc strings were
handled in Emacs, which seemed an impossibly painful task.  Among other

(I tried to propose text in standards.texi explaining why '...' was not
chosen, so at least people wouldn't think the decision was made in
ignorance, but no one else liked it.  So it goes.)

Anyway, this is not the place to debate it -- I plan to write
gnu-prog-discuss about it, since that's where the topic came up.  If you
or anyone can convince rms to do otherwise, more power to them.


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