With text-quoting-style 'grave keeps "'" and "`" quotes unaltered
for further processing done by this code (regardless of locale...).
The tools that read the reStructuredText markup generated can do
their styling instead.

Added temporary conversions of ' and ` to \001 and \002 so that
's and `s outside of `...' and `...` are converted separately
('s restored back to ' and `s converted to \`).

Both `...' and `...` are finally "converted" to `...` (not ``...``).
https://docutils.sourceforge.io/docs/user/rst/quickref.html documents
that as `interpreted text`:

 "The rendering and meaning of interpreted text is domain- or
  application-dependent. It can be used for things like index
  entries or explicit descriptive markup (like program identifiers)."

Which looks pretty much right.

---

Overhauled version of id:20200413104108.10837-1-tomi.oll...@iki.fi

When the default 'curve text quoting style was effective in UTF-8
locale, I experienced inconsistent conversions from `' to ‘’;
sometimes conversions weren't done (one more reason to use 'grave :)
---
 emacs/rstdoc.el | 14 +++++++++-----
 1 file changed, 9 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

diff --git a/emacs/rstdoc.el b/emacs/rstdoc.el
index 63fa2794..4221f142 100644
--- a/emacs/rstdoc.el
+++ b/emacs/rstdoc.el
@@ -40,6 +40,7 @@ (defun rstdoc-extract (in-file out-file)
   "Write docstrings from IN-FILE to OUT-FILE."
   (load-file in-file)
   (let* ((definitions (cdr (assoc (expand-file-name in-file) load-history)))
+        (text-quoting-style 'grave)
         (doc-hash (make-hash-table :test 'eq)))
     (mapc
      (lambda (elt)
@@ -65,11 +66,14 @@ (defun rstdoc--insert-docstring (symbol docstring)
   (insert "\n"))
 
 (defvar rst--escape-alist
-  '(("\\\\='" . "\\\\'")
-    ("\\([^\\]\\)'" . "\\1`")
-    ("^[[:space:]\t]*$" . "|br|")
-    ("^[[:space:]\t]" . "|indent| "))
-  "List of (regex . replacement) pairs.")
+  '( ("\\\\='" . "\001")
+     ("`\\([^\n`']*\\)[`']" . "\002\\1\002") ;; good enough for now...
+     ("`" . "\\\\`")
+     ("\001" . "'")
+     ("\002" . "`")
+     ("^[[:space:]]*$" . "|br|")
+     ("^[[:space:]]" . "|indent| "))
+    "list of (regex . replacement) pairs")
 
 (defun rstdoc--rst-quote-string (str)
   (with-temp-buffer
-- 
2.25.1
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