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Re: Translation of single quotes in doc strings is now optional.

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Translation of single quotes in doc strings is now optional.
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 10:44:59 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Hello, Paul.

On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 01:13:55AM -0700, Paul Eggert wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
> > Please regard this as a quick fix to ease problems that we've already
> > discussed extensively elsewhere.  Nevertheless, if curly quotes are
> > going to become permanent in Emacs, something of the like is going to be
> > needed on a permanent basis.

> Although this quick fix adds complexity, perhaps it's worth it.  Glenn fixed 
> some minor glitches introduced by the quick fix, ....

Thanks, Glenn.

> .... and I just now patched most of the other problems I found with it.

You've introduced problems yourself.  Why have you removed the "no
translation" option?  That was the whole main point of my patch.  Emacs
developers, in particular, will want to be able to see what's there,
rather than a "prettyfied" version of it.  The "no translation" option
must come back.

> I changed the values to be more mnemonic, so that one can now use
> (setq 'help-quote-translation ?`) to get the traditional Emacs quoting
> style.

Fine.  So on a terminal where grave and curly quote share a glyph, the
difference will be invisible.  On one where there is no pertinent glyph,
the curly character will look like a "?".  This is a bad change.
Options such as this should be ASCII.

> The default behavior when the user has not customized the new
> variable is now to generate curved quotes when possible and to fall
> back on straight quotes when in environments that can't handle curved
> quotes, ....

What about KISS?  Why not leave the default behaviour as "no
translation"?  Then people who definitely want it can choose it, those
who don't won't be bothered by it.

> .... as this should yield better behavior on newer platforms without
> making things more difficult on old-fashioned ones.

The "behavior" (actually, merely display) is not better, but we've
already been over this at some length in bug #20707.  And that's
assuming that we can reliably detect environments which don't properly
display curly quotes.

> I'd like to use the new variable to customize quotes used in diagnostics too. 
> So perhaps we should rename it from help-quote-translation to just 
> quote-translation.  But this can wait until we think through how diagnostic 
> handling should be done.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this whole business of converting to curly
quotes hasn't yet had the go-ahead from the project maintainer.  How
about waiting until this is forthcoming, before making any more far
reaching and controversial changes in this area?  Stefan?

> A simple approach would be to extend 'format' via a ` flag, so that we
> can replace (format "Rename `%s' to `%s'" old new) with (format
> "Rename %`s to %`s" old new) to get customizable quotes, but this
> would entail changing several format calls in the source and I am
> trying to think of something less intrusive.

I won't have time over the next few days to do anything in Emacs.  If
the above problems still persist after this time, I'll attend to them

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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