Some thoughts on a ground-up remake of LaTeX

Paulo Ney de Souza pauloney at
Sat Nov 6 18:03:31 CET 2021

On Sat, Nov 6, 2021 at 9:09 AM Philip Taylor (Hellenic Institute) <
P.Taylor at> wrote:

> OK, thank you, understood Don.  But why, then, do you want to "take a text
> file with TeX-style coding of -- --- `` ‘’ etc.¹ and output the
> corresponding Unicode characters", when in your manifesto you write
> "Unicode needs to be a first-class citizen.

Conceivable there will be a transition and such translation would be
absolutely necessary. You can't go very far
with spellers, grammar analyzers, ePub generation ... without it.

> There’s no reason in 2020 for a document writer to have to type \’a
> instead of á in a document. UTF-8 is the new 7-bit ASCII." ?  Who, these
> days, writes -- --- `` ‘’ when they can so easily write –, —, “, ” ?

Just the entire world. Even TeX IDEs insert such sequences in the text
instead of Unicode when you make a
choice within a menu or a pictogram.

I get a sneak-peak at thousands of math papers/books on the way to
publication every month and I would say it is extremely rare to see anyone
using – or —. The use of “ and ” is increasing over time though.

Paulo Ney
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