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Re: with HTML output, @minus{} is converted to a hyphen instead of a rea

From: Vincent Lefevre
Subject: Re: with HTML output, @minus{} is converted to a hyphen instead of a real minus character
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2022 12:03:50 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/2.2.7+47 (8681885b) vl-149028 (2022-10-10)

On 2022-10-12 10:20:46 +0300, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> > > With Texinfo 6.8 and HTML output, @minus{} is converted to a hyphen
> > > instead of a real minus character (U+2212 MINUS SIGN).
> > 
> > I think this is the right action for HTML.  The main reason, AFAICS,
> > is to have working copy and paste.  In most cases, stuff like '-1'
> > must be input with a normal hyphen and not with a real minus
> > character.
> > 
> > In other words, for all output devices that are used for cut and
> > paste, and which don't provide a means to control the characters
> > returned by the cut-and-paste action (as PDF can do), it makes sense
> > to display the (inferior) input characters by default.
> FWIW, IME there's rarely a single alternative that can satisfy all the
> use cases of cut/paste.  That's why applications have several
> different methods of "pasting", which allow the user to select the
> alternative suitable for the text into which they paste.  It is not
> unthinkable to have one such paste alternative convert U+2212 to the
> ASCII hyphen.
> IOW, I'm not sure the needs of the pasting are of any concern for
> makeinfo, or the program which produces the text for display in
> general.  That should be the concern of the program which pastes and
> of the user of that program.

I entirely agree, even though in practice, this doesn't currently
work in various terminal-based application (e.g. gp, calc, maxima).
It should be noted that the real minus character is already widely
used on Wikipedia, and I don't think that there has been any concern
with such copy-paste issues to some applications. In the case of the
MPFR manual, I doubt that pasting text to calculators would be done
anyway (and code snippets are not affected as they obviously don't
use @minus{}). If there are issues with particular manuals, perhaps
this should be configurable.

Vincent Lefèvre <vincent@vinc17.net> - Web: <https://www.vinc17.net/>
100% accessible validated (X)HTML - Blog: <https://www.vinc17.net/blog/>
Work: CR INRIA - computer arithmetic / AriC project (LIP, ENS-Lyon)

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