[tex-eplain] different hyphenation patterns (recommended way of handling)

Helmut Jarausch jarausch at igpm.rwth-aachen.de
Sun Oct 26 16:19:23 CET 2008

On 22 Oct, Karl Berry wrote:
>     \lang at ngerman
>     undefined control sequence
>     Where is this defined?
> It is defined in etex.  Are you running etex or pdfetex?  It won't be
> defined in tex.
> Also, you have to set \catcode`@=11.


I am using GenToo which uses Texlive-2008.
I've sent the following bug report to tex at gentoo.org


It seems to be impossible to use the eplain format (from exlive-formatsextra)
in portable way.
Reason: it's missing (some of) etex's language selection features.
E.g. for selecting the German hyphenation patterns I'd like to use

or at least
\language=\lang at ngerman

The first macro isn't defined in the eplain format,
neither the controlsequence \lang at ngerman

So I'm stuck with looking at
finding out the NUMBER of the ngerman patterns and using

Truely not portable.


I've got the following answers:
This will probably turn out to be more of a feature request for the upstream
project. Assigning to tex team, who can forward the request or suggest where
you could post one yourself.
yes; I'm no eplain expert so you might want to ask on a tex/eplain
mailing list/group to get a more useful answer, but I think this is
intentional: nowhere have I read that eplain should support etex
additional commands.

> And for the original tex engine I need
> \language=<NUMBER>
> But which NUMBER corresponds to which language?

I think there is no real solution there: the number will probably
depend on your language.def/dat file and how it is ordered :/
That's why we have to rebuild the formats when adding a new hyphenation

So, what is the current situation?

Is Texlive eplain package assumed to be built with etex (i.e.
including etex.source when building the format).

Whom may beg to make using eplain+language support a bit

Many thanks for listening,

Helmut Jarausch

Lehrstuhl fuer Numerische Mathematik
RWTH - Aachen University
D 52056 Aachen, Germany

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