[Indic-dev] Indic scripts and English in LaTeX: What is the way ahead?

R (Chandra) Chandrasekhar chandra at ee.uwa.edu.au
Tue Oct 3 09:50:30 CEST 2006

Dear Folks,

I do not know if this is the right forum for this question: pardon me if it is not.

I am a TUG member who has been using LaTeX for the last 12 years and have been 
involved in ongoing work that requires Indic scripts and English in the same 
document.  I have been and am still using the excellent Itrans package from 
Avinash Chopde.  He has, however, ceased maintenance of Itrans because of the 
advent of Unicode, as stated on the Itrans web site.

I want to know what the recommended route would be for encoding documents 
combining Indic scripts and English, now and in the near future.  The Indic 
scripts I use the most are Tamil, Devanagari/Sanskrit, and Romanized Sanskrit.

Are there any preferred methods for unicoding LaTeX documents?  The unicode/ucs 
package seems in need of a new maintainer.  Moreover, it does not handle Tamil.

Another option is the babel package but I have not used it with Indic scripts; 
only occasionally for Greek letters, which it typesets very satisfactorily.

Most other packages require some pre-processor not unlike Itrans.  Because I am 
familiar with Itrans, and like it, I do not see the need for switching to yet 
another pre-processor at present.  Also, given the complexity of Indic scripts, 
can we ever eschew pre-processors?

My succinct question is whether to stay with Itrans for the next five years or 
to migrate to where the future would lead.  If the latter, what is the way ahead?

Any suggestions or pointers on the best direction in which to proceed would be 
most appreciated.

Many thanks.

   03 Oct 06
Dr R (Chandra) Chandrasekhar
Adjunct Senior Lecturer
M018, Centre for Intelligent Information Processing Systems (CIIPS)
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, AUSTRALIA
Office: +61-(8)-6488-1905  Fax: +61-(8)-6488-1168
email: chandra at ee.uwa.edu.au
CRICOS Provider Code: 00126G

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