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Roozbeh Pournader <[log in to unmask]>
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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 13 Feb 2001 20:50:42 +0330
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On Tue, 13 Feb 2001, David Carlisle wrote:

> > With math yes, but with other things no, the model is getting stable.
> It's not just math. 40000 (I think) Chinese characters just got added.
> Unicode 2 was one plane of 2^16. Uniocde 3 is 17 planes of 2^16.
> that's a lot of new slots for people to suggest ways to fill, it will grow.

I was talking about the model. I believe that more characters but fewer
mechanisms are going to be added to Unicode (excluding math).

> Going above 10FFFF might be dangerous (if you ever wanted a feature to
> output the internal state you'd have problems) but plane 13 and 14 are
> empty for private use, which is 2^17 spare slots, which ought to be
> enough.

For outputting internal state, one should use numerical codes or something
like that. That's even more debuggable.

Also, private use places are for interchange, not for internal
things. Internal things should use non-characters, I believe.

> a) this might require omega to be more stable than omega users would
> wish, ie it might prematurely limit addition of new features.

I can't see why it should limit additions, as long as old things work as
they worked.

> b) it would cut out people using tex systems that don't include omega.
> You might say they should all switch to web2c tex, but that's like
> saying that everyone should use emacs on linux. Clearly it's true, but
> it doesn't happen that way.

On Windows, both MiKTeX and fpTeX have it. We're asking distributions to
support Omega, we're not asking users to use some certain distributions.

> d) It would require reasonably major surgery to LaTeX internals. It
> would be possible to make documents and packages using "documented
> interfaces" still work with a new internal character handling, but
> ctan will reveal a lot of heavily used packages that for good (or bad)
> reasons don't use documented interfaces, but just redefine arbitrary
> macros. (Often because there isn't a documented interface).
> A lot of these would break.

We're talking about LaTeX3. The surgery will be needed for LaTeX3, isn't

> So in short to medium term it seems there have to be two versions
> latex/omega and latex/tex. How compatible they can be as latex/omega
> uses more omega features I am not sure.

There is some point I should mention: almost all TeX-world people have
made themselves very busy, so they have much less time for TeX
development these days. The two versions need lots of development time,
so the thing (internationalized LaTeX with PDF and everything) will have
to wait a long time.