AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext)

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  1. 3 votes
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      2 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) commented  · 

      Indeed! It's easy enough to do the simple thing when the apostrophe is prefixed by whitespace, but one must also consider the cases when the character is being abused to act in stead of an opening single quote, or when it's being used in place of the prime character (U+2032) used either to denote a mathematical value or a measurement in Imperial feet.

      I'm not sure about the best way to handle this yet. Input, especially in the form of votes and of advice from professional typesetters, is hugely welcome here.

    • 5 votes
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        4 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

        As it stands, the code currently replaces sequences of two dashes with a single em dash, context notwithstanding; so text like this:

        Em dashes don’t take spaces either side—they’re like this.

        …would be converted to..:

        Em dashes don’t take spaces either side—they’re like this.

        …but text like this..:

        Em dashes don’t take spaces either side — they’re like this.

        …gets turned into..:

        Em dashes don’t take spaces either side — they’re like this.

        This is arguably a good idea, since it will respect whatever convention – correct or not – the user decides to follow. However, it will also dramatically mangle odd situations like this:

        -——————————————————————————
        | I am boxed text! That’s like boxed wine, but cooler. |
        -——————————————————————————

        …which becomes this kind of horrorshow..:

        ———————————————————————————-
        | I am boxed text! That’s like boxed wine, but cooler. |
        ———————————————————————————-

        …and pidgin ASCII Morse code..:

        - .— .- ……

        AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) commented  · 

        Mike, you're right about the correct usage of em dashes, of course, but I think it might - just might - be worth providing a toggle switch anyhow, with the default selected action to be the correct one.

        Still, that's something we can leave up to a vote. For now, the only action taken for em dashes is the incorrect one, and that clearly needs to be fixed. I'm working on it.

        AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) supported this idea  · 
        AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) commented  · 

        We've already got a hack that can do something like this. We'll roll it out Real Soon Now(tm).

      • 20 votes
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          0 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

          This is an excellent suggestion, but it’s surprisingly difficult to cover the general case in practice.

          When we tackle this feature, it will likely involve a series of iterative refinements, and each improvement will be involve a good quantity of blood, sweat, tears and research.

          AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) supported this idea  · 
        • 10 votes
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            1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) commented  · 

            This suggestion is heretical. Let the flamewars begin.

          • 1 vote
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              1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) commented  · 

              This idea is insane.

            • 6 votes
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                1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                I’ll look into the feasability of this request. It’ll be easy to detect sequences of three period characters and perform a trivial replacement on each, but it’ll be harder to figure out when to not do so, such as when a line of periods is used to associate section titles with page numbers or the like.

                AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) supported this idea  · 
                AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) commented  · 

                Excellent idea. Ellipses don't get nearly enough respect.

              • 21 votes
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                  1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                  This is a very generally worded request. Can anyone come up with a slightly more specific description of the requested feature? How can linebreaks be “cleaned up” when the source text doesn’t obey a convention like format-flowed, for example?

                  This feature request may need to be broken up into multiple more specific points. Feedback is welcome and very much appreciated!

                  AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) commented  · 

                  Hmm - that's potentially doable, but the general case of that kind of problem is quite difficult. fmt (c.f. http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/coreutils.git/tree/src/fmt.c and http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=fmt&apropos=0&sektion=1&manpath=FreeBSD+8.0-RELEASE&format=html ) and par (http://www.nicemice.net/par/) tackle this problem with a variety of heavily engineered solutions.

                  I don't want to dismiss this request out of hand, but the difficulty of implementing it properly means that it will probably end up lower down the list. Still, we'll keep it in mind.

                • 8 votes
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                    1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) supported this idea  · 
                    AdminBen Zanin (Admin, cleantext) commented  · 

                    Ooh, that's a really good idea.

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