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Re: Upcoming loss of usability of Emacs source files and Emacs.

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Upcoming loss of usability of Emacs source files and Emacs.
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2015 02:18:39 +0900

Ulrich Mueller writes:

 > U+0060 shouldn't be used as a quote character, for the simple reason
 > that it isn't one. U+0060 is uniquely defined as the GRAVE ACCENT
 > character, and as such it doesn't form a pair with U+0027 APOSTROPHE.
 > (It forms a pair with U+00B4 ACUTE ACCENT: `ยด but the latter is
 > outside of the ASCII range, and of course both are unsuitable as
 > quotes.)

And both of those characters are quite useless because they're not
combining characters.  (Note that proper usage for displaying an
isolated accent in Unicode is to accent a no-break space.)  In some
sense, they're compatibility characters that "shouldn't" appear in
modern (natural language) text at all.  (In fact, that's apparently
not entirely true.  U+00B4 is indeed treated as a compatibility
character for the sequence U+0020 U+0301, but U+0060 isn't.  Weird,
but I bet that's precisely because of usage of GRAVE ACCENT to
construct quotation marks in contexts like Emacs and TeX.)

So I have no problem in principle with Emacs coopting GRAVE ACCENT as
"informal" syntax for indicating symbols or code in documentation.

I'm mildly in favor of the change, but pedantic adherence to Unicode
isn't one of my reasons.

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