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Re: [patch] info: error messages in echo area want a period

From: Gavin Smith
Subject: Re: [patch] info: error messages in echo area want a period
Date: Mon, 15 May 2017 17:22:02 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 01:02:18PM +0200, Benno Schulenberg wrote:
> On Sat, May 13, 2017, at 14:58, Gavin Smith wrote:
> > On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 01:36:00PM +0200, Benno Schulenberg wrote:
> > > Most messages in the echo area about "impossible" user commands
> > > end in a period.  But not all of them.  Attached patch adds the
> > > missing period to some of those.  I didn't do an exhaustive search,
> > > so probably there are other such missing dots in other files.
> > 
> > They should not end in a period according to the GNU Coding Standards.
> > I will try to remove them.
> No no no no no!
> Oh crap, you already removed them.  :|  You had something nice --
> something distinctive -- and turned it into mush.  :|

I couldn't find any discussion online of why the recommendation was
made.  You can make arguments either way but ultimately it is a question
of taste.  I checked Emacs Info as well and it omits the periods too.
There is the same recommendation in the Emacs Lisp manual
(in (elisp)Signaling Errors or 

"The convention in Emacs Lisp is that error messages should start with a 
capital letter, but should not end with any sort of punctuation."

Thus, I think it's better to be consistent with other GNU software.

> I guess you are referring to the last sentence on this page:
>   https://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/html_node/Errors.html


> But I think the main reason for not letting error messages end
> with a period is that sometimes they are followed by a colon
> plus another explanatory message.
> But the messages we are talking about here (most of them, at
> least), are not such error messages.  They aren't even error
> messages, they are just helpful hints for the user, about
> reaching the end of the document, or there being no next node
> on this level.

It's not just error messages: "Error messages from interactive programs, 
and other messages such as usage messages, should start with a capital 

> It was nice to see that info spoke in polite,
> full sentences: starting with a capital and ending with a full
> stop.  And now it is back to bad, improper orthography.  :(

Somewhat off topic, but this reminds me of a recent news story:


> (By the way, you missed one, in indices.c, line 478.)

Thanks, hhanged for consistency.

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