Joseph Wright <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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.

i read manuel as saying that latex 3 need _only_ deal with the "natural"
data type of the engine, so that the fantasies involved in reading utf-8
in latex 2e need not be duplicated for latex 3.

nice idea, imho.