[XeTeX] [tex-live] XeTeX/TeX Live : Setting the default language

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Fri Nov 4 12:40:23 CET 2011

Hi Phil,

On 04/11/2011, at 9:52 PM, Philip TAYLOR (Webmaster, Ret'd) wrote:

> Mojca Miklavec wrote:
>> Now imagine that you send your document to a friend to make some final
>> corrections&  submit PDF for printing ... and that friend has set
>> French or Russian as his default/preferred language, so the printing
>> house will print the document typeset with Russian hyphenation
>> patterns. Wouldn't that be nice?
> A document for export can contain Khaled's recommended :
> 	\uselanguage {<whatever>}
> A document solely for internal use does not require one,
> nor should one need to be added : the installer should
> ask the user whether it should respect his or her regional
> settings ("locale", in Unix-speak, I believe).

Sorry Phil, but I agree with Mojca on this one.

The average (La)TeX user will not understand the issue,
and will not make the right choice when given one at 
installation time, and certainly will not know to put
this extra  \uselanguage{...}  line when needed, unless that 
was required on their own system when preparing the document.

So what Mojca envisions would most certainly happen.

Much and all as it may seem English-centric, or US-biased,
I'd agree that every document that does not just follow 
the world-wide bog-standard LaTeX installation *should*
specify the language explicitly in the document, either 
through use of Babel or Polyglossia or other equivalent method.

Those "power" users who wish to set up their defaults 
differently can certainly do so. It is then up to them 
to make sure that they do things correctly when sending
documents to others to process.

Has it not always been this way in the TeX word?
Is not this consistency in TeX one of its major strengths?
I've not seen any compelling reason to change this.

> ** Phil.

All the best,


Ross Moore                                       ross.moore at mq.edu.au 
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419      
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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