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

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Tue Apr 24 00:57:28 CEST 2007

Le 23 avr. 07 à 20:50, Will Robertson a écrit :

> On 24/04/2007, at 3:52 , Peter Dyballa wrote:
>> Am 23.04.2007 um 19:31 schrieb Will Robertson:
>>> Language-specific typography? Whoever wants it can write their own
>>> package :)
>> This is a must for at least two countries or regions (France and
>> Germany, Austria, Switzerland have strict rules),
> You'll have to be more specific, I'm afraid. Can you give any
> examples or references? Even regarding what babel *currently* does? I
> think Bruno was originally talking about things like how French babel
> affects the spacing and symbols used in list environments, and things
> like that. That's really outside the scope of (what I think) we're
> trying to achieve.

Consider the following English text:

Do this; or that!  Why?  Because I am the boss.  And you know the  
saying: "The boss is always right".

Typeset according to French typographical rules, that would become:

Do this ; or that ! Why ? Because I am the boss. And you know the  
saying : « The boss is always right ».

These are all minor differences, but when reading French text  
formatted according to English typographical rules, something feels  
odd. You can't put your finger on it, but you feel something's not as  
it should be.

I imagine that for you the above English text formatted as in French  
feels odd, too.

There are other minute differences (which are less and less of an  
admitted norm though) in French typography:

- All paragraphs start with an indentation, including those following  
immediately chapter and section titles.

- Dashes in text (used to denote asides, like parentheses): in French  
(I think) we use en-dashes, not em-dashes, and they're separated from  
the surrounding text by spaces, as in -- aside 1 -- and not---aside  
1---as in the TeXbook.

And so forth. Not even to speak about lists.

But entering these territories things are all but commonly admitted,  
and we're succumbing to what I precisely don't like with babel -- its  
insistence on imposing supposed norms on the author.


More information about the XeTeX mailing list