[XeTeX] "new-babel", was: Ancient Greek hyphenation

Alexej Kryukov anagnost at yandex.ru
Sat Apr 21 22:21:05 CEST 2007

On Saturday 21 April 2007 22:29, Apostolos Syropoulos wrote:
> Omega Transformation Processes are the main tool to map input
> encoding to some desired encoding that, for example, corresponds to
> some font encoding. 

> If one uses a UCS-2 
> encoded input file with Omega with a Unicode encoded font (OK not
> really Unicode font), then I cannot really think of any reason to use
> OTPs. Thus, in my opinion, the lessons learned from work on Omega are
> not really "applicable" here.

Encoding conversions is just the most obvious usage, but surely not the
most interesting one and even not the most important. The actual purpose
for which OTP's/OCP's have been invented was implementing various
shaping effects related with glyph substitution or reordering. Have a
look at the original Greek or French language modules for Lambda written
by Yannis Haralambous, where OCP's are used, for example, to replace
initial beta with medial beta in the appropriate places or to normalize
kerning/spacing around punctuation characters.

In XeTeX, however, the same effects are achieved either with
font-specific "smart" features, or with mappings, or, finally, with
active characters (just like in traditional non-Unicode engines). That's
why I think XeTeX is much closer to (pdf)tex than Omega or Aleph as far
as language support packages are concerned.

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

Moscow State University
Historical Faculty

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