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Robin Fairbairns <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 31 Aug 2001 00:28:58 +0100
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>     One of the goals of the LaTeX3 project is to
>   "...provide access to arbitrary fonts from any family (such as the
>    POSTSCRIPT and TrueType fonts) including a wide range of fonts for
>    multi-lingual documents and the specialist glyphs required by
>    documents in various technical and academic areas."
>    Currently the only typesetting engine capable to provide these
> facilities is Omega.

actually, within an appropriate universe of discourse, one can claim
that tex itself does just the same.  what omega adds in this area is
ease of dealing with fonts appropriate to exotic languages (for some
definition of "exotic").

> So, is it reasonable to assume that the LaTeX3
> will be actually an Omega format?

since work is already under way to consider the issues involved in
mounting existing latex on omega, i would expect latex3 will also run
over omega.  i do not expect latex3 to be an omega-exclusive format:
indeed, i would imagine that any such restriction would constitute a
kiss of death to latex3 ... and it's going to have a hard enough time
of it in any case ;-)

> Moreover, since Omega provides a number
> of commands that can be used to specify the writting direction, isn't
> reasonable to expect formatting commands to have an optional
> writting direction specifier, e.g.,
> \begin{center}[LRL]
>    arabic or hebrew text
> \end{center}
> or even better
> \begin{center}[Arabic]
>    arabic or hebrew text
> \end{center}

i'm not expert on current multi-lingual-latex thinking, but i don't
expect that sort of construct to be present as a "primitive".  (of
course, such contructs could not be added to latex2e, since they would
invalidate current documents.)