String reboot - (1a) incidental whitespace

John Rose john.r.rose at
Fri Apr 19 00:04:09 UTC 2019

I think your comments below ar emostly applicable to Guy's
lightweight "box of quotes" proposal, where the open and
close quotes are small (""") and single quotes appear (like
stars in a comment) along the left margin.

The "blast radius" for making edits is much smaller for
the lightweight proposal, since the open and close quotes
are invariant across many more edits.

One reason people hate those extra stars in comments is
that they are using an editor (like Emacs) which is pretty
good at generic indentation, but doesn't know about
language-specific left margin markup, like stars or
(in Guy's second proposal) single quotes.

On Apr 17, 2019, at 11:22 AM, Kevin Bourrillion <kevinb at> wrote:
> I don't even feel the proposals are equivalent. We've already had ample opportunity to discover that boxes of stars around *comments* are a pain and almost no one wants to use them.
> Talking about the IDE doesn't paint the complete picture. Even if it maintains the width of that box for you as your needs change, the fact that this creates large diffs for small changes -- a blast radius -- is still bad for code reviews, bad for merges, and so on.
> If we really feel that users will find it too hard to understand where the rectangle is, that would be different, but I really don't think this is going to be hard.
> And if we do care about fallback behaviour without IDE support, even
> just a little, it becomes a choice between:
> - Box-of-quotes: Easy to read, horrible to edit.
> - IDE-highlighted-box: Possibly tricky to read, easy to edit.

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