On 16/02/2010 14:57, Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard wrote:
> My humble opinion is that LaTeX3 should define a character as being whatever the
> underlying engine thinks is a character. That is, a "character" should be a
> "character token" (with the catcode ignored or, equivalently, normalised):
> - for pdfTeX, an 8-bit number
> - for XeTeX, a 16-bit number
> - for LuaTeX, a number in the range 0 -- 0x10ffff
> This way, the format does not need to hack extensively (as LaTeX2e does) around
> the engine's limitations, and can let the engine do his job, and concentrate on
> his own job as a macro package. (Sort of Unix philosophy: do one thing, do it well.)
> I mean, LaTeX2e *had to* hack around the encoding limitations of pdfTeX because
> there was no alternative, but now there are.

This was the point I was trying (and clearly failing) to get at: modern 
engines can deal with things so the formats don't need to.
Joseph Wright