[wp-hackers] allow opting out of WordPress SmartQuotes

jidanni at jidanni.org jidanni at jidanni.org
Sun Feb 15 01:58:02 GMT 2009

Gentlemen, allow us to broach the question "what about WordPress
SmartQuotes, SmartDashes, etc?"

You see I was reading http://www.fourmilab.ch/webtools/demoroniser/
just the other day, where it says

  You see, "state of the art" Microsoft Office applications sport a
  nifty feature called "smart quotes." (Rule of thumb--every time
  Microsoft use the word "smart," be on the lookout for something dumb).
  This feature is on by default in both Word and PowerPoint, and can be
  disabled only by finding the little box buried among the dozens of
  bewildering option panels these products contain. If enabled, and you
  type the string,

     "Halt," he cried, "this is the police!"

  "smart quotes" transforms the ASCII quote characters automatically
  into the incompatible Microsoft opening and closing quotes. ASCII
  single and double quotes are similarly transformed (even though
  ASCII already contains apostrophe and single open quote characters),
  and double hyphens are replaced by the incompatible em dash symbol.
  What other horrors occur, I know not. If the user notices this
  happening at all, their reaction might be "Thank you Billy-boy--that
  looks ever so much nicer," not knowing they've been set up to look
  like a moron to folks all over the world.

And it dawned on me "Hey, that's just like WordPress! I'll sumbit
http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/9100 One click disable wptexturize()
to get them to be more reasonable."

But alas: Wontfix. You WordPress whippersnappers are all head over
heels for curly quotes. Old fashioned quotes and dashes probably look
to you like... "ASCII. Yuck!"

> MicroSoft was making illegal characters, WordPress makes legal &#...

Yes, however I'm talking about the whole concept of chaining one's
printing characters altogether.

> You don't think WordPress SmartQuotes are pretty?

Yes I admit they are very pretty, and don't cause any problems on any
of my devices. I just don't like the idea that one is not allowed to
retain their original input, as if WordPress is permanently smarter
than thou. Even the lowliest word processor program has a checkbox to
stop such abuse, why not WordPress. (I don't use the built in
WordPress editor by the way, but instead import from RSS.)

> WordPress also adds <p>'s. I suppose you don't like them either.

I'm not talking about that.

> For code, use <...>

I'm not just talking about code, I'm talking about any text.

Anyway, all I'm asking is that WordPress make a checkbox,

  [x]Beautify quote marks, dashes, etc.

checked by default, on an admin panel.

That way we old geezers who don't appreciate such beauty could have
our text remain unscathed.

> Just use a plugin like...

I'm saying it needs to be in the WordPress core code, as an
acknowledgement by the WordPress Foundation to their respect for
computer science. Yes.

Also examining the WordPress source code, the way wptexturize() is
spread all over the place, no plugin could rope it all in for more
than a version or two. The control switch needs to be in the core, as
wptexturize() seems also to play other good roles, not necessarily
corrupting text.

> Ha, just do...

I already do: http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/8929 , so I'm not
hurting anymore. I'm just saying that WordPress needs to add a
"checkbox of respect to thier computing forefathers".

Another question is what happens to old documents? Apparently once the
damage is done it remains in the database. Well at least with the
aforementioned checkbox of respect, newer blog articles could be saved
the embarrassment, if one so wishes.

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