# [tex-live] Commath package + french babel

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Mon Jun 6 20:41:17 CEST 2011

Am Mon, 06 Jun 2011 16:54:56 +0100 schrieb Robin Fairbairns:

> Gaspard Jankowiak <gasp.janko at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I hope this is the right place to 'file' this issue, otherwise please
>> tell me where to do that properly.

Such question should better go to comp.text.tex.

>> Whenever I use the 'commath' and the 'babel' (with [french] option)
>> packages, pdflatex seems to enter an infinite loop whenever a colon
>> ':' appears in math mode.
>>
>> - This happens no matter how I order the 'usepackage' commands.
>> - It does not happen with xelatex
>> - It is fixed by commenting out the 'Fix alignment of := in mathmode'
>>   section in the commath.sty file.
>>
>> This might be linked to the way double punctuation is modified by
>> babel in french mode (unbreakable thin space ?), but I really don't
>> know enough about TeX/LaTex to understand what's going on.

> this is a fairly common problem.  babel/frenchb makes various punctuation
> characters active in order to insert little spaces between text and
> punctuation.
>
> so commath or babel is redefining the other's definition of "active :"
> (according to which way round you load them).  looking at the babel
> documentation, it looks as if you might be able to solve the problem by
>
>   \frenchbsetup{AutoSpacePunctuation=false}

This doesn't help either. The loop is quite stubborn.

>> Sample .tex which fails to compile with pdflatex. Uncomment the
>> xltxtra package to get a successful compilation with xelatex.
>>
>> \documentclass{article}
>>
>> %\usepackage{xltxtra}
>> \usepackage{commath}
>> \usepackage[french]{babel}
>>
>> \begin{document}
>> $:$
>> \end{document}

> quite why the xelatex patch works, i don't understand.  (i don't use
> xetex, and am not really acquainted with its subtleties.)