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Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 4 Nov 1998 18:54:32 +0100
text/plain (42 lines)
At 14:57 +0000 1998/11/04, Timothy Murphy wrote:
>Apologies for asking a very elementary question,
>but is the problem in this case that one gets into difficulty
>if one says \quote{...\quote{...}...} ?
>Would there still be difficulty if one said
>\quote{...\inquote{...}...} ?
>Ie is it the nesting of \quote that causes the problem ?

  One problem discussed was to handle the look-ahead beyond the quote: The
ideal would be that the author just writes everything logically,
independent of language and typesetting style. So reserve two character for
quotes, say < and >. Then write a text
    He said <She said \dots>, and so on.

  Here the comma may be typeset differently in different styles, for example
    He said ``She said \dots,'' and so on.
as in a common US style. For this to work, the command corresponding to ">"
in the author input must recognize that the character following it is a ","
and making sure that the combination is typeset as ",''".

  The sorry thing is that TeX is not at all designed for doing such
sophisticated work, even though one can achieve the effect by extraordinary
manipulations. For example, suppose the input code looks like
    He said {<She said \dots>}, and so on.
How should this be handled? Now the command ">" must recognize a redundant
"}", looking past it to see that it is followed by a ",". We could decide
that it should be typeset as
    He said {``She said \dots''}, and so on.
but we still must make a check for the "}" and treat it specially.

  The problem is that it can be difficult to foresee the uses of the quote
commands ("<" and ">") so that code does not break.

  Otherwise, I do not think keeping track of the quote nesting level is so
difficult: Quotes use a special variable keeping track of it. The quote
style in use defines its behavior.

  Hans Aberg
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