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

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Upcoming loss of usability of Emacs source files and Emacs.
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2015 10:41:14 -0400

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  > But with respect to the coding conventions Oleh cited, it is true that
  > the use of ‘foo-bar’ instead of `foo-bar' is at least encouraged for
  > lisp docstrings (and comments) although both will be displayed like the
  > former with describe-*, right?

This change in the source format is a bad idea.  It is a pain in the
neck, providing no practical benefit.

This is a doc string convention, like \\[...], not a user interface.
It needs to be convenient, not pretty.

Inserting ‘ and ’ is as very inconvenient.  Hunting for how to insert
them is even more so, as it is not documented.

Because I have an instance of ‘ in the buffer now, I was able to use
C-u C-x = on it, which told me I could insert it with C-x 8 RET 2018

I will not remember that hex code.  I will be able to look it up again
next time -- if I have an instance in the buffer.  Of course, given
one the buffer, I will not use C-x 8, I will copy it with the kill
ring.  In other words, this character is so inconvenient to insert
that I will use workarounds rather than try.

In practice, to insert curly quotes, I will have to find an instance
to copy.

The Emacs Manual in Info provides no help on inputting them.  The word
"curly" does not appear in the manual, except in regard to another
character.  In the chapter on non-ASCII characters, the only advice it
gives is the general reference to C-x 8 -- nothing about how to use
C-x 8 to get curly quotes in particular.

There was talk some months ago about adding C-x 8 shortcuts for curly
quotes, but C-x 8 C-h does not show them.  I found nothing in etc/NEWS
either.  I am running from source fetched on May 8.

If those shortcuts are implemented, they will require 3 or 4
characters, one of them a control character.  That's better than 8
characters, but still a pain.

We must not make any convention involving those characters
in source code.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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