Subject: Smart Quotes Issues (was Re: patch: SmartQuotesEnable preference item)
From: sam th (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jul 19 2000 - 19:38:20 CDT
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OK, here's my attempt to summarize the various issues around smart quotes
and how they should be implemented in AbiWord.
How should the user decide whether or not they want Smart Quotes enabled
in their document? There are several possibilities:
a) Options/Preferences dialog (which tab?)
b) Menu item
c) Preferences file
d) Other possibilites?
2) How should smart quotes work (technical algorithm details)
This is a technically, but not politcally, complex issue. Issues are:
a) When should RegularQuote become SmartQuote? Inch marks should not, but
quotations should. How do we determine this?
b) When should the SmartQuote be pointing in which direction? In cases
without nesting, this can be simply handled with a boolean (b_nextIsClose
or something). With more complex situations, this gets harder.
c) Also, we have to deal with the interaction with single quotes, which
sometimes surround quoted text, and sometimes are use as
d) Finally, what is done with backquotes (`)?
3) What mechanism should be used to switch RegularQuote to SmartQuote?
Current candidates for this are remapGlyph() and
functionThatDoesSpell(). A third candidate could also be developed solely
for this purpose. Finally, it could be handled by a function that does
auto-replacement of text (this is how it works in Word, AFAIK).
4) How should smart quotes be saved?
For this, it will clearly vary based on file format.
a) MS Word (when it happens) - save Smart Quotes
b) UTF8 - save Smart Quotes
c) Text - no smart quotes, use regular quotes
d) HTML - no smart quotes (this is *very* important(
e) AbiWord - here is the controversy. I think that .abw files should not
contain smart quote unicode entites. At least one person has
disagreed. Other opinions?
5) Should it be possible to have Smart quotes in just part of the
I don't see this being useful, unless we fail to implement
(2) properly. This would also conflict with at least my desire to have
smart quotes be entirely determined by the current consumer of the
document (as some parts might need to be marked <smart-quotes-here> in
order to preserve round trip fidelity).
Well, what do people think? Are there any issues I have left out? I feel
reluctant to put a smart quotes implementation in the tree until these
issues are at least somewhat decided.
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