[XeTeX] xetex+babel, was: missing everything

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Thu Jan 19 12:35:00 CET 2006

On 19 Jan 2006, at 8:25 am, Martin Henning wrote:

> Hi Jonathan,
> On Jan 19, 2006, at 2:32 AM, Jonathan Kew wrote:
>> Probably the Babel Russian support, in some way.
> yes...
>> No, xetex doesn't need (or want) inputenc to try and interpret  
>> utf8, it handles that natively.
>>> or is the fontenc missing? hmmm...
>> yes, it's font encodings that are getting in the way here, that  
>> shows in the LaTeX font warnings.
>> If you *don't* load Babel's Russian option, I'd expect that you  
>> can put Russian text in a (UTF-8 encoded) input document and it'll  
>> simply work, using fonts such as Lucida Grande or Charis SIL. The  
>> main things you'll be missing are the proper hyphenation, and the  
>> Russian versions of LaTeX-generated text such as "Theorem" or  
>> "Figure" or "Chapter". The question is how to get access to that,  
>> *without* Babel trying to take over the font encoding and map  
>> everything back to some legacy 8-bit Russian font encoding that  
>> won't work with Unicode-compliant fonts.
> right, but that's exactly why i wanted babel :) i looked into the  
> babel.pdf (it's the .dtx i think) for the encodings... if nothing  
> is specified, babel looks for available encodings and at last just  
> setttles with some default. the list of encodings to choose from  
> does not include anything like "U", but the last entry is "T2A",  
> which, it seems to me, gets choosen by default if nothing else  
> known. so i'm thinking of 'simply' making a copy the the babel- 
> package, rename it to xebabel or something, and take out the  
> encoding part. or, add as last default "our" encoding - you say  
> "U"? might be just the matter of adding one line to the babel- 
> package... what do you think?

OK, I think I know what you can do. Ideally, this should be  
integrated into Babel, I guess, but you can work around it like this:

(1) BEFORE loading the Babel package (with Russian option), say:


This will stop Babel (and russianb.ldf) trying to find some other  
font encoding for Cyrillic. Then your chosen font (through fontspec)  
will be used for the Russian text.

(2) The remaining problem is that now the Russian text from Babel  
won't appear, because the Cyrillic character names it uses (\cyra,  
\cyrb, etc) aren't defined. To fix this, AFTER loading the xunicode  
package, add:


to load the attached file, which defines the Russian letters. You may  
want to add more definitions to it, for extended Cyrillic, but the  
basic alphabet is there.

Perhaps Ross could add this to the main xunicode.sty package, after  
the list of character names/codes has been checked and completed....  
I don't read Cyrillic, so don't trust what I write!



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