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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Vladimir Volovich <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 14 Nov 1999 23:48:56 +0300
"Denis B. Roegel"'s message of "Sun, 14 Nov 1999 09:02:13 +0100"
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (39 lines)
"DBR" == Denis B Roegel writes:

 DBR> Among the language attributes, there should IMHO be "default
 DBR> encodings."  These encodings would be either a pair of < input
 DBR> encoding, output encoding > or a pair of lists of encoding,
 DBR> which would enable priorities.  For instance, English should
 DBR> have as a default < ASCII, OT1 >.  French should have < latin1,
 DBR> T1 >, Russian could have < koi8-r, X2 >, etc.

For Russian, T2A seems to be much more convenient than X2 (the latter
encoding does not contain latin chars at all, but they are often used
inside text in Russian). As for the default input encoding for
Russian, it is not obvious that koi8-r should be the default. There
are several really widely used input encodings for Russian. Perhaps,
specifying the default input encoding for Russian via language
attributes could help?

 DBR> These encodings would then just be triggered when one writes
 DBR> \selectlanguage{french}, etc.

I think that one should use the \selectlanguage command with caution:
it is a "global" command with too many changes (captions, typesetting
peculiarities, etc, i.e. such things that typically should have the
only one global value per document), so more "local" triggers like
\foreignlanguage and \otherlanguage are more appropriate for language

I think that it would be good to introduce in BABEL some mechanism
which will define for (each or some) languages commands like
\russiantext and \textrussian, so that {\russiantext ...} and
\textrussian{...} will work as it is common in LaTeX. These commands
should then change the font and input encodings. BABEL could provide a
unified mechanism for declaring such commands in language definition

        Best regards, -- Vladimir.
Well, O.K.  I'll compromise with my principles because of EXISTENTIAL DESPAIR!