Re: language-based smart quotes

Subject: Re: language-based smart quotes
From: Karl Ove Hufthammer (
Date: Thu Jul 20 2000 - 02:44:25 CDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "WJCarpenter" <bill-abisource@carpenter.ORG>
To: "AbiWord Mailing List" <>
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2000 7:25 AM
Subject: language-based smart quotes

|koh> BTW, smart quotes should also be language dependant. E.g., when
|koh> writing in french, ' ' and ' ' should be used. For this to
| I don't disagree with your comment about language tagging below, but I
| disagree with your specific example of language-based smart quotes.
| (I would welcome other examples to show me the error of my ways.) The
| simple reason is a disparity in keyboarding. Someone who types a
| significant amount of '' and '' is a lot more likely to have a
| keyboard setup with a direct or relatively simple way to type them.
| It's certainly the case in the US and perhaps the case in other places
| that essentially nobody has a keyboard with curly quotes on it.

Sorry, in Norwegian, should be used, but Norwegian keyboard doesn't have keys
for them. You have to type Alt+0171 and Alt+0187 to use them.

Ufortunately, there's also a bug in the Norwegian version of MS Word 97, which
uses 99quote99 (where 99 is the 99-like curly quote) for smart quotes (this is
the way Swedish quotation marks should be written, not Norwegian). Word 6.0
correctly inserted and .

|koh> work, it must be possible to choose which language a document,
|koh> and parts of a document is written in. This needs to be
|koh> implemented sometime anyway, because of the spell checker. In the
|koh> file format, language (changes) can be marked-up with
|koh> xml:lang="language-code".
|sam> This is a good idea, but how do you tell what language something is
|sam> written in?
| Easy enough for someone to have a default language (we already have
| LOCALE for the UI) and be able to specify a different language just
| like any other document property (e.g., font, bold, justification).

Yes. Having this on the right click context menu would also be nice (perhaps a
list of the 3-5 most used languages).

Karl Ove Hufthammer

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