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Bernard,

> fallacious argument i heard for the first time 20 years ago, when accented
> chars were only used by a subgroup of TeX users... Willing to solve
> all world's problems often generates no solution, so having
> complementary solutions is a good approach.

definitely, i wasn't trying to argue against that. i was simply stating that
this is not what i was looking for, i was looking for a solution that works
together with inputenc. Vladimir's textmath.sty is another such
completementary approach but also for a quite welldefined group of
languages/applications

>  > and only for the chars that are part of your base font (or can be
>  > constructed from them), eg if you type $\texteuro$ what happens?
>
> as we spoke about input encoding and math, \text constructs were
> not concerned. If \DeclareMathMeaning can solve the pb of $\texteuro$
> it's fine.

???

if some user presses a key on his/her keyboard then due to inputenc he/she
gets an object in the LICR, eg \"a or \oe or \texteuro or \cyro or ...

if that is used in text then LaTex knows how to deal with any of them, if it
is used in math then the question is to give it a sensible meaning

> > One limited possibility would be
> > \mathcode\ä="8000
>
> i confess this is also my trick along with the mltex option and
> thus there is an expansion:
>
> {the letter à}
> à->\mathaccent "7012\relax a
>
> > would require that input encoding and font encoding match...
>
> no more than \catcode\ä=\active of inputenc!

that works for a TeX which uses ä of type letter. but that means only
characters and languages that are in your 8bit codepage of your computer can
be produced with this TeX. That's fine, but as i said it is for some group of
languages useful.

inputenc tries to implment more languages and more encoding concept (and will
hopefully soon also have utf8) and for this ä is already active and can't take
two types of definition at the same time (and testing for \ifmmode to decide
between the too doesn't work, see discussions

frank