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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 7 Feb 1997 23:49:30 +0100
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (67 lines)
End of last year Soren Sandmann Pedersen wrote:

 > When typesetting a document in a language other than English,
 > Babel does a good job using language-dependent things such
 > as hyphenation, quotes etc.
 > However, the standard classes are not really suitable for many languages.
 > Using my own first language, Danish, as example, such things as
 >   * The section numbers should be postfixed with a dot. I.e.,
 >              1. This is the first section
 >   * The margins are too wide, especially when using a5 paper
 > are not featured in the standard classes.
 > There exist classes which meet the requirements of Danish typesetting,
 > but then they lack other things.
 > Therefore I propose a new feature, \uselanguage{<lanugage>} which should
 > include a file <lanugage>.def.
 > In this file there should be a sequence of typographic rules specifik for
 > that language. For Danish this could be:
 >   *  \dotsaftersection
 >   *  \frenchspacing
 >   *  \quotes{>>}{<<}
 >   *  ...
 > The classes should then take appropriate action according to these rules.
 > The advantage of such a feature would be that class-designers other than
 > the LaTeX-team would be encouraged to include code to make the class look
 > right in other languages.

I personally think that any such interface would need to be far more
formalised so that it is easy for a class file to implement those
rules it understands and ignore those it doesn't. However, ignoring
that for the moment there is one basic question that needs to be
answered first:

  what are (the) possible rules that are to be covered by such a

Soren has given three above for Danish (and some ...). What i would be
after right now to be able to think further about this matter are as
many possible rules that we can come up with. once we have a larger
collection it is probably easier to think about possible interfaces
that are suitable end extensible.

For this reason i would welcome any selection of rules or conventions
that you can think of, please send them with reference to the language(s)
they apply to.

Please also include conventions that might not be uniformily used but
are often or even only sometimes found.


this list has become quite silent (probably in parts due to the fact
that the LaTeX3 team spend most of its time in maintaining LaTeX2e).
I hope that that we can bring it back to life --- I for my part intend
to work in the next months on language interfaces and i would welcome
your help on that