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Old 02-04-2013, 02:42 AM   #1
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Hi

I am a French user. All the EPUBs I produce make use of espaces fines and curly apostrophes (also called apostrophe typographique). The use of these two characters is recommended for quality typography in French. This post is written in the hope that Sigil could provide better support for both of them.

1. - It would be wonderful if Sigil allowed the user to choose as a default in the language preferences between straight and curly apostrophe. Implementation could be done this way: when the user selects the French language, it would trigger the opening of a small dialog window intended for French users, letting him complete his choice. Other dialog windows could probably be opened this way for the special needs of other languages.

Rationale: Every time I make a text search, I must take into account the fact that Sigil will look by default for straight apostrophes. And the pity is that in French language we really have tons of apostrophes, which means that many a search include an apostrophe... Many French beginners are not aware of this and have the feeling that the search is not working properly.

2. - We use more and more espaces fines. which is Narrow No Break Space or &_#_8239_; (it's a slippery animal). It would be nice if we could select it among the special characters, like other entities.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:29 AM   #2
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You can search for curly quotes without a problem, as long as you type them correctly in the search boxes of course. After all, a straight quote is something totally different. You cannot expect Sigil to automatically convert it for you, since you might intend a straight quote. If I recall a french keyboard correctly, the keys are present.
After all, Sigil is not a word processor, although you might be able to use it for that.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:28 AM   #3
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Hi

Sure, I can search for a curly apostrophe. I usually pick up one from the closest sentence and put it in the search field.

But this is not my point. I just propose that my version of Sigil could default to curly apostrophes (like my word processor - OpenOffice - does since I installed the Grammalecte extension) because I use curly ones (see joint attachment).

Your version of Sigil would still be the same, with straight apostrophes because you use straight ones.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Your version of Sigil would still be the same, with straight apostrophes because you use straight ones.
Actually, straight apostrophes (and quotes) are pretty rare in most professionally prepared English ePubs as well. It's not a language difference. We all have to search for (and type) the curly apostrophes (and curly quotes) specifically when using Sigil—because like Toxaris mentioned—they're different characters. Having Sigil interpret one character as a different one (typing or searching) would be a mistake in my opinion.

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Old 02-04-2013, 09:43 AM   #5
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Exactly. What I said was that a curly quote/apostrophes has different meaning than a straight one. It is not just grammer, but can have a different meaning. By blindingly assume you mean a curly one when a straight one is meant, problems will occur, especially in code view.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #6
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But maybe there could be an option for searching that makes ' equivalent to [‘'’] and " equivalent to [“"”].
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger64 View Post
1. - It would be wonderful if Sigil allowed the user to choose as a default in the language preferences between straight and curly apostrophe.
I don't see Sigil changing the output of what you type based on your language - it will only type what you type on your keyboard.

That said, If I understand the issue correctly, you need to use the curly apostrophe a lot. In HTML the & apos ; entity is a straight apostrophe. There is no curly apostrophe entity (annoyingly), so it seems that everyone has to use the & rquot ; entity - the right single curly quote that usually looks like a curly apostrophe.

If this is the case, then the "curly apostrophe" is already in the Special Characters dialog - the second entry on the second line I believe. No need to search for it to copy/paste.

Quote:


2. - We use more and more espaces fines. which is Narrow No Break Space or &_#_8239_; (it's a slippery animal). It would be nice if we could select it among the special characters, like other entities.
You would like the & # 8239 ; entity to be in the Special Characters dialog? Since there is no text name for 8239 it was not originally included. But adding it is easy enough so it's been added for the next release.


I think the Clips feature can help here, especially with the 0.7.0 changes. Specifically you can easily define a clip to be ’ or " or whatever character/text you want. You can then name the clip whatever you want including the actual character. Then select and paste the clip into your text or into Find & Replace.

What 0.7.0 brings is the ability to use the clips as buttons on a toolbar, and to define shortcuts for the first 20 clips. And you can change the shortcuts to whatever you want. So you could define Ctrl+' to be your curly-apostrophe/right-curly-single-quote. Or whatever character/shortcut you want.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:46 PM   #8
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You would like the & # 8239 ; entity to be in the Special Characters dialog? Since there is no text name for 8239 it was not originally included. But adding it is easy enough so it's been added for the next release.
Thank you very much.

I'll have to install this - huge - qt5 quickly ...

As regards the curly apostrophe, you are right to point out that we can already find it among the Special Characters. And, I already have a "saved search" which searches and replaces all straight ones with curly on all my xhtml files.

My thought was just, as I have a - mostly - useless key on my keyboard, to be able to type automatically a curly apos instead of a straight one like I do on my word processor.

So let's forget about it. I'll try to implement this "button" idea when my brand new 0.7 Sigil will be up and running.

Last edited by roger64; 02-04-2013 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:47 AM   #9
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spellchecker problem

A point about the consequence of the use of these curly apos, I should have mentioned. It causes a spellchecker problem for French Sigil users.

When I spellcheck a French book which makes use of curly apos., using Sigil, hunspell stops at every occurrence of a curly apostrophe. This means that I cannot use it because it stops uselessly much too often. A list of mispelled words like the one which is meant to appear in Sigil 0.7 will hopefully be more useful. Even then, there will be lots of useless expressions like: l'art, c'est, d'un etc. which are in French much more numerous than in English.

There could be a surgical solution: revert to straight apos, perform the spellchecking and come back to curly apos. But it seems a little far-fetched... I did not try it and does not know if it would work.

I think I found a solution with hunspell le glouton for odt files. hunspell just ignores the apostrophe and analyzes the words on both parts of it and produces a list of unknown and/or mispelled words. But, for the time being, it's a Linux only solution. Hopefully it could be adapted.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...&postcount=213

As you can see, I do most of my spellchecking on the odt file. I am surprised this problem has not been reported yet.

Last edited by roger64; 02-05-2013 at 05:32 AM. Reason: and/or
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meme View Post
In HTML the & apos ; entity is a straight apostrophe. There is no curly apostrophe entity (annoyingly), so it seems that everyone has to use the & rquot ; entity - the right single curly quote that usually looks like a curly apostrophe.
There's ' only because it could be needed in some cases in strings, (just like there's &amp, but I think there was some weird conflict between HTML, XML and XHTML, meaning that ' is not correct in some of them, or something like that.

Other than that, the curly apostrophe is ’ (not &rquot; ), because in Unicode they are the same character, unfortunately. When I need to keep the difference, I use & #8217; for the apostrophe, but that's only useful as long as all modifications are done manually (any HTML-aware software will see ’ and & #8217; as the same thing, probably).
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger64;2411866
When I spellcheck a French book which makes use of curly apos., using Sigil, hunspell stops at every occurrence of a curly apostrophe. This means that I cannot use it because it stops uselessly much too often. A list of mispelled words like the one which is meant to appear in Sigil 0.7 will hopefully be more useful. Even then, there will be lots of useless expressions like: [I
l'art, c'est, d'un[/I] etc. which are in French much more numerous than in English.
In 0.7.0 this will be easier since as a list of words you can filter on apostrophe and select them all to ignore or add. And even better you can create a separate dictionary, e.g. French-apostrophe, and put all your apostrophe'd words into it, and enable it along with whatever other user dictionaries you want.

Wait for the second beta though - spellchecking and highlighting misspelled words trigger a bug that causes a crash.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by meme View Post
In 0.7.0 this will be easier since as a list of words you can filter on apostrophe and select them all to ignore or add. And even better you can create a separate dictionary, e.g. French-apostrophe, and put all your apostrophe'd words into it, and enable it along with whatever other user dictionaries you want. .
It's always great to leave a choice.

I just wanted to stress some points:

What is the "apostrophe typographique" ("curly")?

To confirm with an image so that there should be no confusion about it
It's Unicode U+2019, (or & # 8217; or & rsquo; which are just other names for exactly the same thing). Left image.

How do hunspell behaves with it in French?

This proves that it tends just to ignore it. This is a test made with OpenOffice 3.4.1, with a French LOCALE and U+2019. Middle image.

As you can see the sentence in the middle, with two apostrophes missing gets the same lack of flagging as the upper (apos. provided with Grammalecte) and lower one (apos. by inserting a special character with Linux Libertine).
The Grammalecte extension helps provide the U+2019 by default.

Mind!!! This hunspell behaviour may change using other LOCALE than fr_FR

Apostrophes are important in French language

I think it is pointless to expect hunspell to know all elided forms in French. They are just too numerous. But others may try it... Right image.
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Last edited by roger64; 02-05-2013 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:03 PM   #13
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There was an issue in the code that was solved by converting all apostrophes to straight ones at least for English. The problem is that is made the apostrophe for French not work in a user dictionary.

The new code will fix that - so you can enter anything into your user dictionary and it will be ignored regardless of your primary dictionary. The downside is that, for English at least, if you use a curly apostrophe correctly in your text, it won't be recognized in the main dictionary. You will have to add an entry into your user dictionary. But only once if you create a common dictionary.
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