[XeTeX] The xetex-greek package

Alexej Kryukov anagnost at yandex.ru
Fri Nov 10 21:47:20 CET 2006

On Friday 10 November 2006 18:45, Will Robertson wrote:
> Hello,
> FYI, I'm copying this announcement through to this list, for those
> who are interested (see appended). Wasn't someone talking about Greek
> unicode hyphenation a while back? I'm guessing this should be added
> to the XeTeX installer.

Some time ago I have done a similar work for antomega (my
language support package for omega/lambda, see
Now the most part of antomega is probably obsolete (as I am
moving to XeTeX myself), but the Greek hyphenation patterns
can be used with XeTeX virtually without any modifications.
The files are based on the same source by D. Philippou, but differ from
those supplied in xetex-greek at the following points:

-- instead of the UTF-8 encoding I had used the ^^^^xxxx notation
to represent 16-bit characters. This is the standard way of
representing Unicode strings in omega when no translation processes
(OCP) are available at the time the file is loaded, and I think this
notation should be preferred for XeTeX hyphenation patterns too, as
it allows to keep them compatible with omega;

-- I have added an extra set of rules which are necessary to properly
handle initial accented vowels. These rules don't exist in the original
patterns by D. Philippou, because they are not needed for standard
TeX, where an ASCII transliteration is used to encode Greek so that
each accent is typed separately.

> (only the catcodes, etc.,
> files are my completely original contribution).

Again, antomega provides a similar file which sets proper
catcodes/lccodes/uccodes for Unicode Polytonic Greek. However,
as there are lots of characters in Unicode (and in the Greek
block in particular), I had decided that setting so large
number of codes with primitive comands doesn't look very elegant,
and provided a set of high level macros (\makeletter,
\makeucletter,\makelcletter and \makesameletter) for this purpose.
I think this approach is more progressive and can be adapted
for XeTeX too. Anyway, it would be really nice to merge xetex-greek
with my greek language support files previously designed for
antomega, as there is absolutely no reason to maintain 2 very
similar packages.

BTW, something should be done also with the greek.ldf file supplied
with babel: in its present form the file is absolutely unusable 
with XeTeX, as it uses the same ASCII transliteration for representing
localized strings, so that they cannot be easily converted to Unicode.

Alexey Kryukov <anagnost {at} yandex {dot} ru>

Moscow State University
Historical Faculty

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