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

Will Robertson wspr81 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 23 19:31:10 CEST 2007

Hi Bruno,

We've obviously got different ideas about this -- but *you're* the one
who can speak more than one language! Thanks for your comments.

On 4/23/07, Bruno Voisin <bvoisin at mac.com> wrote:
> Personally I would see, by decreasing order of importance (which I
> think would correspond to the user's view of what's important):
> (1) Translation of LaTeX's strings ("section", "chapter", "table of
> contents", "list of figures", that sort of things).
> (2) Selection of hyphenation pattern, of directionality (left-to-
> right, right-to-left, top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top).

I'm surprised that you think that someone writing in French wouldn't
care that their hyphenation is all messed up. On the other hand, if
French isn't the main document language then the strings don't need to
be translated. So I would definitely put these the other way around.

> (3) Implementation of language-specific typographic "conventions".
> (4) Font selection.
> I see (1) and (2) as mandatory, and (3) and (4) as optional nay
> superfluous and in any case better delegated to the font itself if
> technically feasible.

(3) I agree with you but (4) definitely not -- you *want* to switch
fonts when you switch languages in order to activate any
language-specific OpenType features (although you often won't when
switching between European languages). Don't forget that you need
separate \font declarations to do this.

So I lump font switching together with hyphenation --- mandatory.
String translation is necessary, but not always required.
Language-specific typography? Whoever wants it can write their own
package :)


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