[wp-hackers] allow opting out of WordPress SmartQuotes

Steve Johnson sj at sawtoothid.com
Sun Feb 15 02:40:08 GMT 2009

So basically what you're saying is that you want the freedom to attach the
horse to the front of the car, yes?
Some of us are happy that we don't have to go through the contortions of
using alt- combinations to arrive at the proper typographical destination.
The rest don't know the difference and couldn't care less that double open
quotes are not the same as primes which aren't the same as straight quote
marks from a typewriter (which don't really mean anything at all as they
aren't proper in the first place).

I am perfectly happy to produce WordPress posts that do not look as if they
were typed on a Royal typewriter that was new in 1964.

Which brings us to: 'computing forefathers'? How about 'typing on an ancient
machine that most people under 30 have only seen in magazines forefathers'?

Steve Johnson

> -----Original Message-----
> From: wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com [mailto:wp-hackers-
> bounces at lists.automattic.com] On Behalf Of jidanni at jidanni.org
> Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2009 6:58 PM
> To: wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
> Subject: [wp-hackers] allow opting out of WordPress SmartQuotes
> 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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