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Achim Blumensath <[log in to unmask]>
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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 14 Feb 2001 09:41:51 +0100
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On Tue, 13 Feb 2001, Frank Mittelbach wrote:
>  > - On all major platforms, support for editing and displaying UTF8
>  >   exists and either is currently moving into mass deployment.  Major
>  >   programming languages have UTF8 libraries, so the basic
>  >   infrastructure for UTF8 is or will be in place shortly.
> remains to be seen. in the long term most likely yes, but how many of the
> people on this list can easily (in their favorite editing system) edit or
> generate a utf8 encoded file? hands up?

The standard encoding of BeOS is UTF8. I don't know whether the number of
TeX-installations under BeOS exceeds, say, 100, though.

I don't think that Omega or NTS will replace TeX anytime soon, so here
are some rough ideas how to implement unicode support in TeX:

(a) Internally unicode characters can be encodes as command sequences of
the form \<some hex sequence>, i.e., `A' would become `\0041'.

(b) Each font would define these sequences appropriately, i.e,
`\def\0041{A}'. Characters not included in the font would raise an
error message.

(c) To convert the input file to the internal representation one could
write a preprocessor in TeX which is invoked by the \documentclass
command. That's IMHO the easiest way and I don't think the runtime penalty
would be that great. The preprocessor should leave command sequences and
braces alone, i.e., `\begin{bar}' would become `\begin{\0062\0061\0072}'.
The only problem I see with this approache are \catcode-changes.

Any thoughts?

                                                              | \_____/ |
   Achim Blumensath                                          \O/ \___/\ |
   Mathematische Grundlagen der Informatik                   =o=  \ /\ \|                  /"\   o----|