[XeTeX] Polyglossia gloss file for Japanese

Takayuki YATO (ZR) zrbabbler at yahoo.co.jp
Sat Nov 13 17:48:28 CET 2010

Hello all,

Here I'd like to present an experimental implementation of the
polyglossia gloss file for the Japanese language. It does not
yet contain many of the fancy stuffs (though it contains ruby
output in the simplest way and kintou-wari) because I want
for present to focus on the fundamental design of the package.

The main points of the design of mine are as follows:

  - It only supports horizontal writing; there are still too
    grave issues on vertical typesetting of XeTeX to consider
    it seriously.

  - The paragraph building in Japanese requires several features
    that is absent in the original TeX engine:
    (1) proper line breaking, including kinsoku rules
    (2) automatic font switching (without language switches)
    (3) space adjustment around punctuation marks
    The XeTeX engine supports only (1) (by \XeTeXlinebreaklocale,
    etc.) and leaves the others to macro programming with the
    inter-character token insertion feature (\XeTeXinterchartoks,
    etc.) as minimal assistance. Since we cannot single out the
    "best" package for support of these features (in fact there
    is not yet a single one that is satisfactory), the current
    implementation leaves the choice to document authors: i.e.
    they can choose the "base module" out of 'none' (to load no
    package and use \XeTeXlinebreaklocale) and 'xeCJK' (to load
    it). We could add to the choices other packages such as
    zhspacing, etc. The choice of base module is usually auto-

  - The layout of Japanese documents is very different from that
    of documents in European languages. Even the seemingly
    omnipotent memoir class could not produce proper layout
    for Japanese documents. Thus the approach that tries to 
    tweak this and that points of the specified class will not
    work successfully, and you must ideally employ document
    classes designed specially for Japanese documents.
    For that reason, the implementation does not modify the
    layout in default. But still I have provided a simple and
    rough tweaking of layout, including the enlargement of
    leading, and this will be enabled by language option 

  - In the ideal situation where tailored classes are used,
    the caption strings (\chaptername, etc.) are of course
    already rendered in Japanese. Because in some places
    different syntax is needed (such as "Chapter 2" vs.
    "第2章") and the way to produce the right syntax often
    varies between document classes, the best way seems
    to be to leave the strings unchanged. Thus I have chosen
    this as default, but again I have provided two sorts of
    caption settings that do modify strings. The option
    [caption=simple] works with almost all classes but
    changes "Chapter 2" to funny "チャプター2"; the option
    [caption=elaborate] gives the decent result "第2章" but
    might fail in using with some classes.

  - other features: support for Japanese calendar (eg. 平成
    20年), conversion to kanji numerals (eg. 二十), Japanese
    style ruby, etc.

The attached zip file contains three example documents which
utilizes Polyglossia and the Japanese gloss file.

  - pgja-test1.pdf: This example uses the standard report
    class with [layout=simple] setting, and uses Japanese
    proportional fonts (IPA P Mincho/Gothic) as text fonts.
    This output might seem preferable to your eyes but often
    stigmatized as poor typography in Japan.

  - pgja-test2.pdf: This example is in the same layout as the
    previous one, but employs xeCJK package as base module.
    This enables one to automatically switch between Latin
    fonts and Japanese (monospace) fonts, 

  - pgja-test3.pdf: This is my best effort to typeset Japanese
    documents in XeLaTeX. It utilizes two additional packages
    I have developed for typesetting Japanese documents.
    + bsjscls package: An adaptation of jsclasses document classes
      to XeLaTeX. The jsclasses package is developed by Haruhiko
      Okumura and is the most reputable set of document classes
      of pLaTeX for general purpose.
    + zxjatype package: An extension to xeCJK package with an
      additional punctuation style suitable for Japanese.
    (I am planning to put these packages on CTAN after this issue
    is resolved.)

  - Note that the last line of each example shows the output from
    the deliberately wrong input, in which an English sentence
    is put in a Japanese language environment.

Best regards,

Tak Yato (Takayuki YATO; aka. "ZR")

Tak Yato (Takayuki YATO; aka. ZR)

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