[OS X TeX] Re: Latexian 1.0 Released

Juan Luis Varona jvarona at unirioja.es
Thu Dec 9 15:04:26 CET 2010

Dear Alain,

[Sorry for my English, but I will try to explain the reasons]

>  I work with french or english files but I use only UTF8.
> I don't understand why "%!TEX encoding" is very useful to avoid the chaos 
> of mixtures of encodings in the same file? For me it's the chaos to mix 
> several encodings.
> If you put %!TEX encoding = ...  you can mix encodings? I never try that but  
> if you are right is very fine. 
> Perhaps I need to read something about %!TEX ...

I understand than utf8 is better. But my experience as editor-in-chief in
La Gaceta de la Real Sociedad Matemática Española
says that approximately nobody uses utf8. Most mathematician do not
know anything about enconding. Writing in Spanish, they use old 
accents \' (approximately 50%), latin1 (40%) or applemac (10%).

These % is a approximation, and the reason of the 50 for \' is that,
with winedt, you can write ordinary áéíóú (etc) but in the file it is saved
with \' (and most or the mathematicians that uses this method 
do not know that they are using it, because another person has 
instaled and configured winedt in they computer).

I must manage the files for the journal, I think that I have received
a file with utf8 only once in three years!

In many tex files, several persons have to modify the files.
I give you an example of the utility of "%!TEX encoding".
Suppose that you do not have it in a file.
If a person write the file with latin1 or utf8, and another person
(a non-expert, which is the most common) modifies the file in
a mac with TeXShop configured with applemac (the default, 
unfortunately), he writes applemac accents and you get a 
mixture of encodings.

However, if the original file has 
% !TEX encoding = IsoLatin
% !TEX encoding = UTF-8 Unicode
TeXShop knows that it must follows this encoding when typing, and
the mixture does not happen.


Juan Luis

PD: Alain, Altermundus is "magnifique",
but I suggest you to include
% !TEX encoding = UTF-8 Unicode
in the files. In this way, to use your files will be easier for
non-expert people with his editors configured (by default) 
with applemac or latin1. :-)

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