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Eric Brunet <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 1 Feb 2001 11:07:10 +0100
text/plain (49 lines)
Franck Mittelbach wrote:
>  Johannes talkes about the difficulties in providing this, but is it really
>  something one wants?

>   - except when using mule (or emacs) one doesn't (automatically)
>     change input encodings when changing a language in the middle of
>     the document.

I am not quite sure I understand what you mean here, so I won't comment.

>   - beside, even if, for the same language many different input
>     encodings would be in use so you can't even pick a default without
>     making a lot of people unhappy. you can write german using cp437de
>     or latin1 or ansinew or ... depending the OS used or the keyboard
>     or ...
>   - same is true for font encodings: my question about OT1 T1 showed
>     that clearly, some people never use OT1 these days others only (and
>     both writing in the same language)

Sure, there might be many different possible settings, and one can only
choose a default one. But I don't quite see how this could be an argument
for not making a decision. For the moment, all the users must define an
inputencoding/fontencoding tuple for all the languages in their document.
If a default is choosen, then only some of them (and hopefully a minority
of them) would have to specify something. Surely it is on the whole a
better solution.

> i guess the only way to tie something like this to the language is as
> an offering, ie by default nothing is tied to a language but you have a
> mechanism to say that all switches to language X result in switching
> the inputenc to Y and give the user a chance to specify this in the
> preamble.

Certainly it would be usefull to have a mechanism that binds an input and
a font encodings to each language. But again, it is not because it is
impossible to please everybody that no default should be choosen. Imagine
that I don't like the default margins in a LaTeX document. As it would be
impossible to please me (and probably others), would that mean that there
should be no default margin and that everybody should invoke the geometry
package and explicitely give their prefered sizes ?

I used to teach LaTeX to beginners, and it was always very difficult to
explain why it was necessary that any document should have 5 or 6 lines
of preambule, even to just typeset a single sentence.


        Éric Brunet