[Doc-SIG] using the same delimiter on the left and right..

Guido van Rossum guido@digicool.com
Thu, 29 Mar 2001 17:26:37 -0500

> > Trying to enforce rules on people for a supposedly 'transparent' markup
> > system like ST is ass-backwards. The markup must abide by common usage, not
> > the other way around. That's the strongest argument against using
> > single-quotes for inline literals I know of. We can use `backticks` or
> > `symmetric quotes' or <gasp!> *both*! (I see problems with symmetric, like:
> > "string assignment: `s = 'this is a string''". Single-quotes are just too
> > common in all contexts, IMHO.)
> Obviously, many of us don't think it's ass backwards.  Structured text
> uses conventions that take their markup significance from their
> common usage.  Many of us find this to be a big benefit in practice.
> A common use for single quotes is to signify literals - they're used
> for contractions and other things, but by paying attention to context
> there's no conflict.
> I would note that you use structured text conventions, like
> *asterisks* for emphasis, in the very text where you dismiss
> structured text's approach.

That's because when I type something in single quotes, I usually want
the quotes to appear in the rendered text.  If I write "In C, 'c' is a
character literal but 'cc' is undefined", it becomes unreadable when
the output becomes "In C, c is a character literal but cc is
undefined" -- even if the c and cc are in a different font, it's still
*wrong*.  This problem doesn't happen with *emph*.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)