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Re: A simple solution to "Upcoming loss of usability ..."

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: A simple solution to "Upcoming loss of usability ..."
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:54:48 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.7.0

Oleh Krehel wrote:
I hope most people will agree that having two notations for one thing is
bad for everyone: both novices and experts.

Of course. The problem is that Emacs Lisp currently lacks notation and mechanism for doing the right thing with respect to user preference in quoting style. It will be a hassle to modify the old ASCII-only notation and implementation to address this problem while remaining ASCII-only. (I've started that job, but it's by no means done.)

In contrast, it's quite simple to use curved quotes to denote quotes.

There's no question that we'll continue to support the old ASCII-only style indefinitely, even though it's relatively clumsy and confusing. The only question is whether we'll also support a simpler style in which quotes normally stand for themselves, with the idea of moving to the simpler in the long run if it works out. That is, the question is whether the long-term gain is worth the extra short-term pain. (No matter what we do, we'll have some short-term pain; this is inevitable.)

This is a judgment call, and the conservative approach is of course to add some more escape sequence complication to our ASCII-only approach, and/or to use gimmicks like font-lock mode to display characters other than what's actually in the buffer. But really, it's much simpler to use quotes to denote quotes, some of us prefer doing it the simpler way, and we should give the simpler alternative a try.

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