[XeTeX] Greek XeLaTeX

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Tue Oct 12 10:05:51 CEST 2010

Am Tue, 12 Oct 2010 09:21:47 +0300 schrieb Alexandros Gotsis:

> Dear friends,
> I am trying to "greekify" XeLaTex in order to make it easier for
> greek writers to use. I have translated almost all the commands
> (e.g., instead of \begin{document} I can use \áñ÷Þ{êåéìÝíïõ},
> etc.) that I could think of and made new article, book etc.
> classes with the greek commands. These new classes just renew the
> commands etc. and they work rather well. There are a few errors
> still that I try to figure out, but there are also a couple of
> things that I do not know how to do and, therefore, ask your
> advise/help.
> 1. I could replace almost all commands of (Xe)LaTeX, but I can do
> nothing with the very first one: \documentclass{}! Is there a way
> to change the name of this command so that the XeLaTeX engine
> still understands it? I am looking for solutions that will not
> include any extra (latin) text in the source file, as this would
> defy the purpose.
> 2. While I have changed the names for "Chapter", "Figure", the
> dates, the numbers, capitalisation etc. (thanks for all this go
> to the work of Syropoylos in Xanthi), I do not know how to change
> things as, e.g., [c] (center) to [ê] (êÝíôñï), the length units
> (from mm ôï ÷ etc.). For the time being I would not change
> anything in the math environments.

You will have to rewrite the LaTeX formats (latex.ltx) as most of
this things are hardcoded. For the units you will have to write some
scanner/translater as the names are hardcoded in the xetex binary. 

> The idea behind the changes is that a writer of greek text (or
> arab, chinese etc.) should not be obliged to change his/her
> computer keyboard to latin for the commands and back again for
> the text. Also the names of the commands would be more
> transparent for non-english speakers.

At my opinion this won't work and it isn't a good idea. A class
which defines alternatives in greek for the frequently used commands
like \section or itemize is ok. But there are thousands of packages
for (Xe)LaTeX on CTAN. Do you want to translate them all? Together
with their documentation? 

Also: How will a user of a fully localized format be able to get
help from the XeTeX-community? How will such a user be able to give
something back to the XeTeX-community by writing a package?

To quote from the genesis: "And the Lord said, Behold, the people is
one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and
now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined
to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language,
that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord
scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth:
and they left off to build the city."

Ulrike Fischer 

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