Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

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Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

graphitefriction
Administrator
Hello community,

By default, Asciidoctor doesn't insert smart quotes when you use the ' or " key, with the exception of the singular possessive (Sam's).
To insert smart quotes requires an attribute or graves (` or ``).
Asciidoctor's behavior replicates the original AsciiDoc python processor when it comes to substituting punctuation.

What do you think about upgrading Asciidoctor's default punctuation substitutions?

For example:

* Replace an opening single quote: ' (entered via the ' key) with &# 8216;
* Replace a closing single quote: ' (entered via the ' key) with &# 8217;
* Replace an opening double quote: " (entered via the " key) with &# 8220;
* Replace a closing double quote: " (entered via the " key) with &# 8221;

Are there any common browsers or scenarios where this would be a pain in the butt?
We could create an attribute that would revert back to non-smart punctuation for scenarios where smart quotes would cause issues.

This idea was seeded by Rob's observation here: Apostrophe problem

And these resources:

* The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)
* Common Typography Mistakes: Apostrophes Versus Quotation Marks

Related issues:

* https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/issues/715
* https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/issues/717

So what do you think? Should quote defaults be changed? Is Asciidoctor performing any other character substitutions that are questionable, old, or wrong?

Cheers,

Sarah
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Re: Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

LightGuardjp
Administrator
In my experience smart quotes are a PITA. Sure they look good and everything, but have you ever tried to C&P anything containing smart quotes? Nearly everything I've used screws it up. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of smart quotes.


On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 3:27 PM, graphitefriction [via Asciidoctor :: Discussion] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello community,

By default, Asciidoctor doesn't insert smart quotes when you use the ' or " key, with the exception of the singular possessive (Sam's).
To insert smart quotes requires an attribute or graves (` or ``).
Asciidoctor's behavior replicates the original AsciiDoc python processor when it comes to substituting punctuation.

What do you think about upgrading Asciidoctor's default punctuation substitutions?

For example:

* Replace an opening single quote: ' (entered via the ' key) with &# 8216;
* Replace a closing single quote: ' (entered via the ' key) with &# 8217;
* Replace an opening double quote: " (entered via the " key) with &# 8220;
* Replace a closing double quote: " (entered via the " key) with &# 8221;

Are there any common browsers or scenarios where this would be a pain in the butt?
We could create an attribute that would revert back to non-smart punctuation for scenarios where smart quotes would cause issues.

This idea was seeded by Rob's observation here: Apostrophe problem

And these resources:

* The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)
* Common Typography Mistakes: Apostrophes Versus Quotation Marks

Related issues:

* https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/issues/715
* https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/issues/717

So what do you think? Should quote defaults be changed? Is Asciidoctor performing any other character substitutions that are questionable, old, or wrong?

Cheers,

Sarah


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Re: Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

Rob Sykes
In reply to this post by graphitefriction
As for other substitutions that are wrong, I'm going to suggest that -- is wrong for m-dash, since AFAICT this leaves us with no simple and intuitive way of representing an n-dash.  Many other plain-text markup languages use -- for n-dash and --- for m-dash, so for both practical and compatibility reasons, I think Asciidoctor should consider doing the same.

Cheers, Rob.
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Re: Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

graphitefriction
Administrator
In reply to this post by LightGuardjp
Ugg, copy and paste can present problems. I remember that the old Textile on the Arquillian site used to have smart quote issues when you copied stuff into it. Thankfully, that got fixed, otherwise none of the translations would display right. What other systems do you (and other developers) use that aren't unicode friendly?


On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 5:22 PM, LightGuardjp [via Asciidoctor :: Discussion] <[hidden email]> wrote:
In my experience smart quotes are a PITA. Sure they look good and everything, but have you ever tried to C&P anything containing smart quotes? Nearly everything I've used screws it up. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of smart quotes.


On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 3:27 PM, graphitefriction [via Asciidoctor :: Discussion] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello community,

By default, Asciidoctor doesn't insert smart quotes when you use the ' or " key, with the exception of the singular possessive (Sam's).
To insert smart quotes requires an attribute or graves (` or ``).
Asciidoctor's behavior replicates the original AsciiDoc python processor when it comes to substituting punctuation.

What do you think about upgrading Asciidoctor's default punctuation substitutions?

For example:

* Replace an opening single quote: ' (entered via the ' key) with &# 8216;
* Replace a closing single quote: ' (entered via the ' key) with &# 8217;
* Replace an opening double quote: " (entered via the " key) with &# 8220;
* Replace a closing double quote: " (entered via the " key) with &# 8221;

Are there any common browsers or scenarios where this would be a pain in the butt?
We could create an attribute that would revert back to non-smart punctuation for scenarios where smart quotes would cause issues.

This idea was seeded by Rob's observation here: Apostrophe problem

And these resources:

* The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)
* Common Typography Mistakes: Apostrophes Versus Quotation Marks

Related issues:

* https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/issues/715
* https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/issues/717

So what do you think? Should quote defaults be changed? Is Asciidoctor performing any other character substitutions that are questionable, old, or wrong?

Cheers,

Sarah


If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:
http://discuss.asciidoctor.org/Smart-quotes-versus-primes-Defining-Asciidoctor-defaults-tp825.html
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Re: Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

graphitefriction
Administrator
In reply to this post by Rob Sykes
Thank you, Rob! I'll file the n-dash and m-dash syntax as feature request.

Cheers,
Sarah


On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 10:13 AM, Rob Sykes [via Asciidoctor :: Discussion] <[hidden email]> wrote:
As for other substitutions that are wrong, I'm going to suggest that -- is wrong for m-dash, since AFAICT this leaves us with no simple and intuitive way of representing an n-dash.  Many other plain-text markup languages use -- for n-dash and --- for m-dash, so for both practical and compatibility reasons, I think Asciidoctor should consider doing the same.

Cheers, Rob.


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Re: Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

LightGuardjp
Administrator
In reply to this post by graphitefriction
Not that it fully applies to this audience but things like Excel, Word, LibreOffice wreck havoc on these things as well. Typical text editors get things right.


On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 1:40 AM, graphitefriction [via Asciidoctor :: Discussion] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Ugg, copy and paste can present problems. I remember that the old Textile on the Arquillian site used to have smart quote issues when you copied stuff into it. Thankfully, that got fixed, otherwise none of the translations would display right. What other systems do you (and other developers) use that aren't unicode friendly?


On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 5:22 PM, LightGuardjp [via Asciidoctor :: Discussion] <[hidden email]> wrote:
In my experience smart quotes are a PITA. Sure they look good and everything, but have you ever tried to C&P anything containing smart quotes? Nearly everything I've used screws it up. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of smart quotes.


On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 3:27 PM, graphitefriction [via Asciidoctor :: Discussion] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello community,

By default, Asciidoctor doesn't insert smart quotes when you use the ' or " key, with the exception of the singular possessive (Sam's).
To insert smart quotes requires an attribute or graves (` or ``).
Asciidoctor's behavior replicates the original AsciiDoc python processor when it comes to substituting punctuation.

What do you think about upgrading Asciidoctor's default punctuation substitutions?

For example:

* Replace an opening single quote: ' (entered via the ' key) with &# 8216;
* Replace a closing single quote: ' (entered via the ' key) with &# 8217;
* Replace an opening double quote: " (entered via the " key) with &# 8220;
* Replace a closing double quote: " (entered via the " key) with &# 8221;

Are there any common browsers or scenarios where this would be a pain in the butt?
We could create an attribute that would revert back to non-smart punctuation for scenarios where smart quotes would cause issues.

This idea was seeded by Rob's observation here: Apostrophe problem

And these resources:

* The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)
* Common Typography Mistakes: Apostrophes Versus Quotation Marks

Related issues:

* https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/issues/715
* https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/issues/717

So what do you think? Should quote defaults be changed? Is Asciidoctor performing any other character substitutions that are questionable, old, or wrong?

Cheers,

Sarah


If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:
http://discuss.asciidoctor.org/Smart-quotes-versus-primes-Defining-Asciidoctor-defaults-tp825.html
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To unsubscribe from Asciidoctor :: Discussion, click here.
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Re: Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

Rob Sykes
A sideways thought: what if one wants, for example, “d’écrire en français” — does the ASCII in ‘Asciidoctor’ preclude this?
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Re: Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

graphitefriction
Administrator
Hi Rob,

Despite having Ascii in its name, Asciidoctor has always had full unicode support. Its default encoding in UTF-8.
I've filed an issue related to this question here: https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor.org/issues/160

If this doesn't answer your question, let me know!

Cheers,

Sarah


On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 5:32 AM, Rob Sykes [via Asciidoctor :: Discussion] <[hidden email]> wrote:
A sideways thought: what if one wants, for example, “d’écrire en français” — does the ASCII in ‘Asciidoctor’ preclude this?


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Re: Smart quotes versus primes -- Defining Asciidoctor defaults

mojavelinux
Administrator
In reply to this post by LightGuardjp

On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 5:22 PM, LightGuardjp [via Asciidoctor :: Discussion] <[hidden email]> wrote:
In my experience smart quotes are a PITA. Sure they look good and everything, but have you ever tried to C&P anything containing smart quotes? Nearly everything I've used screws it up. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of smart quotes.


While once true, this problem went away with the adoption of Unicode, in particular UTF-8. If there is a program that doesn't support Unicode, it should be taken out back, shot and left for dead. It doesn't belong in this world anymore.

I say that because the smart quotes are only the tip of the iceberg if your program doesn't support UTF-8 correctly. It also blows up for any language that uses modifiers of some sort...which is pretty much every language except for English. It's essential that Asciidoctor have full Unicode support, and it does.

Smart quotes are the correct, "typographic" way to display quotes in language. What's nice about AsciiDoc, and other markup languages, is that you don't have to break out the copy/paste (or find a more sophisticated keyboard) to get the proper output. You can work entirely in the ASCII character range and still get the proper output.

*Of course*, we want to offer the ability to turn off smart quote replacement for those that don't want it in the output. This isn't about whether we want the replacements or not, but rather whether the replacements are performed consistently (which they are currently not). I'll be posting a more detailed proposal of this change shortly.