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

From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Re: Upcoming loss of usability of Emacs source files and Emacs.
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 22:29:27 +0200

On 2015-06-23, at 21:21, Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:

> They shouldn't be expected to be able to distinguish between
> confusingly similar, but subtly different characters.  Let me give you
> a few examples:
>  "

1. My personal opinion is: I prefer `...', but I could live with ‘...’
provided that the input and search problems will be solved in
a satisfactory way and that I could find a font which renders them
better than the default font in my Emacs (Ubuntu Mono), where the
Unicode quotes look terrible.  (I guess that when I finally get rid of
this pile of crap which Ubuntu has become, it will get better

2. I would like to point out to all Unicode fanboys (no offence, please,
I'm also a fanboy, though definitely not of Unicode) that AFAIK (though
I can't find any source now) there is a bug in Unicode: U+201C should
really be split into two characters, "LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK" and
While their shape is identical, their bounding boxes should be mirror
images of each other.

So please don't tell me that Unicode "solves the problem of nice
quotes".  It does, but at the same time it introduces problems of its
own.  (A funny one: see http://unicodelookup.com/#math and try to guess
what happened to 0x1D455, or "mathematical italic small h".  A stupid
one: U+FE18, with a typo in the name.)  In fact, Unicode seems to be
fundamentally broken by design, since it identifies characters by
numbers instead of names.  This basically excludes any language with an
infinite[1] alphabet.

[1] "infinite" in a practical sense, not a theoretical one, of course.
It is closer to "potential infinity".  I mean here a language where it
is legal to create new characters on the fly, when needed, provided they
are combined from some basic shapes according to the rules.


Marcin Borkowski
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Adam Mickiewicz University

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