[XeTeX] Long dash "--" in Latex

Musa Furber musaf at runbox.com
Fri Jul 2 19:21:29 CEST 2004

On 2 Jul 2004, at 15:44, Bruce D'Arcus wrote:

> On Jul 2, 2004, at 6:12 AM, Bruno Voisin wrote:
>> A problem can be that in every different language (every different 
>> Mac OS X localization) people will have a different notion of what 
>> are the most obvious spokes (i.e. the most obvious diacritics needing 
>> compatibility with TeX's standard input for them). And this could end 
>> up, in some way or another, like reimplementing Omega.
> Exactly.  While I understand Ross' point, there just seems something 
> perverse about trying to workaround a major feature of XeTeX – that it 
> is unicode – to support a major limitation of regular TeX.
> The only thing I personally value about TeX is its high-quality 
> typesetting.  There's a lot that is a mess about it.  I've had this 
> argument elsewhere though (for example, people wanting to support 
> character entities in XML document standards, which means one cannot 
> ever use anything but a DTD-based toolchain, with all of its 
> limitations), and realize YMMV.

After reading Bruno's message, I now see one of the reasons to avoid 
what I had mentioned.

In the case of single and double quotes, OpenType fonts can handle them 
automatically (converting ' and " to their proper forms based on their 
context in the stream). But using them means losing a but of 
compatibility with other implementations of TeX and LaTeX.

I read somewhere that one cannot override -- and ---, and `, ``, ''. If 
I am mistaken, then I am more than happy to do this on my own. Where is 
the best place to look? (Bruno: as you can see, your apology was 
unnecessary; I am still waiting for my first copy of "The LaTeX 

I actually prefer TeX's way of entering text over entering straight 

One of the nice things about using TeX is the ability to make multiple 
"views" of the same document. I translate classical Arabic texts where 
the primary text may have several layers of commentaries. By writing a 
macro for each commentary, it becomes a trivial matter of deciding what 
appears on the page and how.

LaTeX is way cooler than XML. For me, at least.


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