quotation characters in the Octave sources

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quotation characters in the Octave sources

John W. Eaton
Administrator
Recently I've noticed the use of various characters for quotation marks
in the Octave sources, including ASCII apostrophe, grave accent, acute
accent, and Unicode left/right single quotation marks.  I'd like to come
up with a uniform guideline for these characters, fix the sources, and
try to stick with it in the future.

A complete discussion of the issue may be found here

   https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/quotes.html

Briefly, in the old days, we used `' (ASCII grave and acute accents)
when surrounding words with single quote characters.  It wasn't correct
usage, but they were displayed by X11 as left/right single quotation
characters and I think Texinfo also displayed them as matched quotation
characters, so they appeared to be the right thing and were easily
accessible characters on US/ASCII keyboards.  But then X11 changed and
these characters are now displayed (correctly) as grave accent (slanted)
and apostrophe (neutral) so in addition to being the wrong combination
of characters, they look terrible together.

Once that change was made, I think we started simply using the ascii
apostrophe character like 'this'.  I'd like to fix the sources to use
that convention again.  Does anyone object or have a better suggestion?
No matter what we decide, I'd like to have consistent usage in the
source files.

jwe

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Re: quotation characters in the Octave sources

Michael Godfrey


On 6/24/19 9:01 PM, John W. Eaton wrote:

> Recently I've noticed the use of various characters for quotation
> marks in the Octave sources, including ASCII apostrophe, grave accent,
> acute accent, and Unicode left/right single quotation marks.  I'd like
> to come up with a uniform guideline for these characters, fix the
> sources, and try to stick with it in the future.
>
> A complete discussion of the issue may be found here
>
> https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/quotes.html
>
> Briefly, in the old days, we used `' (ASCII grave and acute accents)
> when surrounding words with single quote characters.  It wasn't
> correct usage, but they were displayed by X11 as left/right single
> quotation characters and I think Texinfo also displayed them as
> matched quotation characters, so they appeared to be the right thing
> and were easily accessible characters on US/ASCII keyboards.  But then
> X11 changed and these characters are now displayed (correctly) as
> grave accent (slanted) and apostrophe (neutral) so in addition to
> being the wrong combination of characters, they look terrible together.
>
> Once that change was made, I think we started simply using the ascii
> apostrophe character like 'this'.  I'd like to fix the sources to use
> that convention again.  Does anyone object or have a better
> suggestion? No matter what we decide, I'd like to have consistent
> usage in the source files.
>
> jwe
John,

Good to try to standardize. I tend toward ' ', but an expert friend says:

"As an American I use double quotes for first level. Also " is the same for open and close. ASCII 68 introduced open quote (back tick), but ' does not really close `."

Also, I wrote a couple of TeX macros to provide ' ' in Tex.

So, your choice seems OK.
Michael


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Re: quotation characters in the Octave sources

Mike Miller-4
In reply to this post by John W. Eaton
On Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 16:01:41 -0400, John W. Eaton wrote:
> Recently I've noticed the use of various characters for quotation marks in
> the Octave sources, including ASCII apostrophe, grave accent, acute accent,
> and Unicode left/right single quotation marks.  I'd like to come up with a
> uniform guideline for these characters, fix the sources, and try to stick
> with it in the future.

I assume you mean quotation marks used in strings that are presented to
the user? Or do you mean something else?

I agree with consistency, and I tend to prefer the look of double
quotes, for example in this error message:

    >> exist ("x", "foo")
    error: exist: unrecognized type argument "foo"

rather than single quotes, for example in this error message:

    >> sum (10, "foo")
    error: sum: unrecognized type argument 'foo'

But either way, yes to consistency.

--
mike

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Re: quotation characters in the Octave sources

John W. Eaton
Administrator
On 6/26/19 1:19 PM, Mike Miller wrote:

> I assume you mean quotation marks used in strings that are presented to
> the user? Or do you mean something else?

I'm thinking of any text file in the sources, but yes, especially in any
messages that are displayed.

> I agree with consistency, and I tend to prefer the look of double
> quotes, for example in this error message:
>
>      >> exist ("x", "foo")
>      error: exist: unrecognized type argument "foo"
>
> rather than single quotes, for example in this error message:
>
>      >> sum (10, "foo")
>      error: sum: unrecognized type argument 'foo'
 >
> But either way, yes to consistency.

Yes.

jwe