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Re: [O] Bug: Secondary smart quotes are exported as apostrophes. [9.1.14

From: Nicolas Goaziou
Subject: Re: [O] Bug: Secondary smart quotes are exported as apostrophes. [9.1.14 (9.1.14-1-g4931fc-elpa @ /home/coleman/.emacs.d/elpa/org-9.1.14/)]
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2019 11:13:14 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)


Coleman Gariety <address@hidden> writes:

> I agree. However, in specialized fields (linguistics and philosophy, for
> example), single quotation marks are commonly used to refer to technical
> terms or specialized uses of words
> <https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/31420/when-should-single-quotes-be-used#answer-31444>:
> "Single
> quotes are easier on the eyes when reading material that uses quotes
> frequently, which is why academic publishers adopted this format for works
> in these areas."

As you put it: "in specialized fields", which is exactly my point. Smart
quotes, as implemented in Org, are not up to the requirements of
specialized fields. This is no LaTeX.

>> You can use entities directly to obtain the desired result, e.g. \rsquo,
> \lsquo...
> I think that this is rather tedious. Do you agree?

It depends on the number of occurrences. With completion, it can be
quick to insert.

> If so, it seems reasonable to me that there should be some option to
> export text such as...
> 'foo'
> ...in the form of...
>  &lsquo;foo&rsquo;

You may write an export filter for that.

> It occurs to me that an academic who works in the field of linguistics or
> philosophy should be able to properly export his or her writing without
> using cryptic glyphs ("...") or commenting out line `5545` of `ox.el`. Do
> you agree?

I think cryptic (?) double quotes are perfectly fine since you can
export them as single quotes in the end. And I do not understand your
reference to line 5545 in "ox.el".

Despite its lacks, current implementation of smart quotes does its —
limited — job. I understand that it does not fulfill anyone's needs.

Now, if you think you have a better design for them, please share it
here. If it is sound and you are willing to implement it, I'm sure Org
users will appreciate it.

However, please make sure you explain the design from the ground up, not
as a modification of the current system, even if the implementation
ultimately is a slight modification of the latter. This is important to
avoid introducing a misunderstanding of the current system in the

In particular, you may note that current system does not use "double
quotes" and "single quotes", but "primary quotes" and "secondary
quotes". This is an important distinction, as it is more general: some
languages do not use, e.g., single quotes at all. It just happens that
Org uses double quotes as primary quotes, but only as a class of
characters, not as a literal symbol. As a consequence, as odd as it may
sound, I would consider it a regression if Org exported " as double
quotes and ' as single quotes exclusively.


Nicolas Goaziou

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