[XeTeX] Greek XeLaTeX

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Tue Oct 12 13:54:13 CEST 2010

Am Tue, 12 Oct 2010 11:13:41 +0200 schrieb Khaled Hosny:

>>> 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? 
> ConTeXt has localised formats in many languages and the world did not
> fall apart (ConTeXt has built-in support for localising the interface),

Well I don't know much about ConTeXt, but at first ConTeXt is a
rather monolitic and selfcontained format. It doesn't have to handle
lots of packages. Also I have some doubts that this localised
formats translates really everything down to units like mm or
numbers to other scripts. Or is their an completly arabic
counterpart to \includegraphics[width=10cm,scale=5]{...}? To repeat
me: I don't see a problem to localize document commands like

> also I know for a project that is/was building an Arabised LaTeX format
> and AFAIK they localised the most common packages and left the rest, but
> the fact that LaTeX has no built-in support for such localisation makes
> it a bit impractical, may be LaTeX3 (if it ever released) would be
> convinced to have such support.

I remember a discussion where someone tried to replace the numbers
(in the input, e.g. in assignments like \parskip=10pt) by their
counterparts in some other script.  Perhaps it could be done by
luatex. But what to do with primitives like \pdfoutput or
\baselineskip or \write or ...

>> 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?
> And the target audience of such localised format is unable to neither
> use TeX or get support at all (remind you, they don't know English),
> so they either use TeX in their mother language or not use it at all, I
> certainly prefer the former.

Or they learn some english ;-). On the french and the german group
they are sometimes people who don't speak english. Their problem is
not with command names nor (naturally because of the identical
script) with numbers and units but with documentation and getting
support. I do understand that for people which use a different
scripts in their mother tongue command names and numbers are more
problematic. Nevertheless I would say the priorities should lie on
documentation and support forums/list/groups is the various
languages, intelligent editors which allows entering the needed
chars from ASCII easily, and translating the main commands of a
small number of standard classes and packages. 

Ulrike Fischer 

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