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Frank wrote:

> this is a problem agreed, because of this unfortunate fact of letting 8bit
> loose if no inputenc is specified.

> but providing an input encoding automatically would be a big compatibility
> problem and within 2e kernel we have a firm policy of not doing this (and if
> we move it to a package (aka inputenc) then you are back to your above
> problem).

Oh, that I understand very well that the 2e kernel should be always
perfectly backward compatible. It is a good policy. However, I believe it
is not true of the packages: if two people use two different versions of
the same package, it is allowed that their document differ in the end for
the same source, I think. That is why I was proposing in the beginning of
this thread to put this new facility in a new version of the babel
package. After all, the kernel has no way to determine a good default
input encoding without knowing first which is the language of the
document, and thus it makes sense to let babel choose the default
encoding. In this way the 2e kernel stays compatible, only babel user see
a difference.  Moreover, the change wouldn't disturb anybody: if someone
doesn't hear about the change, he would probably keep on declaring
\usepackage[something]{inputenc} and might never become aware that there
is a default encoding for the language he is using.

> will? the user groups? for many lanugages there isn't a user group

If not all languages have their newsgroups, I think you can find them in
comp.text.tex. If not, somebody must have written all those language
files for babel. This person might be qualified to choose. In last
recourse, I would choose the suitable latinxxx for the language. Or maybe
leave it to ascii till someone complains; we don't need to give a default
to all language in one go.

> anyway, for the code that i'm currently writing i've added a way to specify
> inputencodings by language (or script) at least for the moment

Yes, that is needed anyway, and it is excellent news. But it would be so
much nicer to have a default value.

Éric