Smart Quotes

Via Daring Fireball, Glenn Fleishman’s Atlantic article on curly quotes:

The trouble with being a former typesetter is that every day online is a new adventure in torture. Take the shape of quotation marks. These humble symbols are a dagger in my eye when a straight, or typewriter-style, pair appears in the midst of what is often otherwise typographic beauty. It’s a small, infuriating difference: “this” versus “this.”

I write my content in Markdown, render it to HTML, and post raw HTML into WordPress. It’s a couple extra steps, but I get to write in a proper text application, and the output is reliable and well-formed. During that process the quotes are “educated” to transfrom plain ASCII inch marks to proper double quotes.

Ironically, the quote above is the biggest problem I’ve encountered in a while: the plain quotes are automatically educated, so I have to update the HTML output and change it back. Then I discovered that WordPress automatically educates my quotes, so I couldn’t display straight quotes even though I wanted to. I would have to update WordPress to remove the wptexture filter. I started this post explaining how easy this was for me, but only proved the point that it is a pain purposely using both proper quotes and dumb straight quotes. Using one or the other is easy.

To Repeat: Medicare Isn’t Going “Bankrupt”

From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will remain solvent – that is, able to pay 100 percent of the costs of the hospital insurance coverage it provides – through 2028, the program’s trustees wrote in their latest report. Even after 2028, when the HI trust fund is projected for depletion, incoming payroll taxes and other revenue will still cover 87 percent of Medicare hospital insurance costs.

Paul Ryan is dishonest when we charactarized Medicare as going “bankrupt.”

Cleaning Out Argument Labels

The guys over at CleanCoders made a video series on the creation of an iOS app. While refractoring, they decided to remove keyword arguments.

We also walked through the code replacing most of the keyword arguments with positional arguments – something that swift does not make particularly convenient. We did this because the code just looked better once it was done.

I think this is a terrible idea.

Coincidentally, I’m in the middle of the chapter on function naming in Clean Code. He argues against ternary arguments because it’s too easy to lose track of what arguments belong in the first, second, and third position. “Sounds like argument labels would help,” was my first thought. Looks like he disagrees. It makes me more skeptical of his other advice.