From the DF Archive: ‘Short and Curlies’

Yours truly, back in 2003, arguing for proper typography on the web:

Cory Doctorow says he hates curly quotes in web content. While I agree with him that there’s a problem, I completely disagree about the solution.

Let’s be clear: I’m the author of SmartyPants, a plug-in for Movable Type (and soon, Blosxom) weblogs which automatically generates the typographically-correct punctuation Mr. Doctorow is complaining about, so I’m not exactly an unbiased observer — I’m partially responsible for the growing movement toward using proper punctuation on weblogs.

And I couldn’t be prouder.

Doctorow’s solution is for everyone to just stick with 7-bit ASCII characters. My solution is to fix or discard any retarded software that still insists on such restrictions. It’s 2003, right?

And here we are 14 years later, still arguing about this, and struggling with CMSes that don’t make it easy despite the fact that, algorithmically, it’s a solved problem.

(My 2003 self has successfully amused today’s self with the headline and sub-heads of this piece.)

Thursday, 29 December 2016