[XeTeX] Status of babel and polyglossia in xelatex

Vladimir Lomov lomov.vl at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 11:55:59 CET 2009

On Wed, Dec 09, 2009 at 11:42:24 +0100, Ulrike Fischer wrote:
> Am Wed, 9 Dec 2009 18:29:25 +0800 schrieb Vladimir Lomov:

> > I play with xelatex for some time but don't understand status of
> > polyglossia and babel in xelatex.

> > As I understand, polyglossia is a replacement for babel (babel in latex,
> > polyglossia in xelatex) so I should not use babel with xelatex.

> Well you can use babel with xelatex and in certain cases it is more
> powerful, e.g. the french adaption of babel has much more typograpic
> settings than the one from polyglossia. 
I see.

> You should in general _not_ use babel if you use a language which
> needs another script (like russian) as it will switch fontencodings
> and probably clash with fontspec. 
I want to try fontspec features :). I know that babel uses fontencodings
while this is not neccessary for xelatex (is it?).

> > If this is correct then why when I run xelatex on this minimal document
> > I see:
> > <output>
> > This is XeTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.2-0.9995.2 (TeX Live 2009)
> > entering extended mode
> > (./test2.tex
> > LaTeX2e <2009/09/24>
> > Babel <v3.8l> and hyphenation patterns for english

> > This is rather strange for me: if xelatex don't use babel why it has
> > babel banner?

> A part of the code of babel (some kernel commands needed to load
> language patterns) are in hyphen.cfg and included in the format.
> That's not a problem, polyglossia knows it, it needs such code too
> and simply reuse the one from babel. (At first polyglossia had its
> own hyphen.cfg, which meant that you had to regenerate the formats
> if you wanted to switch between babel and polyglossia. Happily this
> is no longer needed.)
So this is only artefact and I shouldn't bother about it. Ok.


P.S. It is really great that I need to do only small changes in document in order
to use xelatex!

Xerox never comes up with anything original.

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