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

Axel Kielhorn A.Kielhorn at web.de
Sun Apr 22 12:17:51 CEST 2007

Am 22.04.2007 um 05:04 schrieb Will Robertson:

> Hello,
> I just want to mention that it's probably a bad idea to proliferate
> packages beginning with "x" to stand for XeTeX, because the LaTeX3
> project has used this prefix for years for *their* packages. I mean,
> it's not the worst thing in the world but it's better not to create
> confusion where possible.

Why not ibabel? XeTeX was developed on the Mac, where everything starts 
with an "i":-)

> So, no "xbabel" -- use "new-babel" or "mini-babel" or better yet, a
> new new name altogether. "multilang" or "tongues" come to mind. I
> know it's silly to be thinking of the name before anyone has even
> accepted responsibility for starting code, but it's a Sunday morning :)

I like the name multilang since it uses \selectlanguage to switch 
between different languages, and the name is not taken. (CTAN search 
didn't turn up anything.)

What is the RFC to register a package-name?

What is the purpose of the package?

1. Select hyphenation patterns for the selected language.
2. Select a font for this language.
3. Setup typing direction (LTR, RTL, TTB) (interface to bidi?)
4. Enable OTF support for the selected language. (using fontspec?)
5. Enable language specific ligatures (and variants?) (again fontspec).
6. Selecting a color for the language, make that: Offer an interface to 
issue arbitrary commands when selecting a language.

3 to 5 could be 2.1 to 2.3, see example below.

How will this look like?
hyphenation=german,		% Use traditional patterns
%font=romanfont,		% romanfont is the default
% Should the font properties be part of the language or is
% it better to define a font for every language we use. The
% later will be more portable to non-XeTeX systems.
%direction=RTL,			% RTL is the default
fontlanguage=DE,		% use OTF features for german
commonligatures=on,		% use fi, fl ligatures
%rareligature=off,		% don't use st, ck ligatures (default)
startcommand={\color{red}} % Examples using the 20th century spelling
						% will be shown in red.

What will this package not support:

- Non-Unicode font encodings.
- Translated strings for various latex names. (For this we need the 
doclang package which provides a \documentlanguage command.)
- Language specific date formats. (Use isodate, which already supports 
different formats)
- Language specific quotation marks, csquotes already offers these.

Will this package work with pdftex, luatex and omega?
Everything except for OTF-support should work, right?

Should we move the discussion to comp.text.tex?

who still uses german.sty and probably shouldn't interfere when the 
grown ups talk about babel:-)

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