[XeTeX] Whitespace in input

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Tue Nov 15 19:56:56 CET 2011

On Nov 15, 2011, at 11:46 AM, Philip TAYLOR wrote:

> I think it made more sense with "can't", Herb,
> but that could be a trans-Atlantic difference
> of usage -- you would, I think, say "I could care
> less" where I would say "I couldn't care less".
> ** Phil.
> --------
> Herbert Schulz wrote:
>> What I meant to say was...
>> So what you are saying is not that you can control the catcode of a particular character but that you can't change it after it is set and in TeX's ``stomach.'' That I can agree with.
>> (notice the can't control --->  can control)


Sigh... yes, I was correct the fist time around.

Let's see if I can understand what the issue is in this case. Well, actually there are two issues (maybe I'm combining two thread?): first how should xetex behave when it is served a special, invisible character (e.g., non-breaking space) and, second, how should an editor display different ``invisible'' characters (is that on a different list?).

Given that there are multitudes of editors that people get rather religious about I don't think things are going to change much on the display end. Probably having a ``switch'' to turn on display of invisibles with special characters when desired is the best bet since those special symbols would usually get in the way of read and writing the text.

Given that TeX (and XeTeX too) deal wit a non-breakble space already (where we usually use the ~ to represent that space) it seems to me that XeTeX should treat that the same way. The big puzzle will happen when someone, not using an editor capable of displaying invisibles, can't understand why they can't get XeTeX to break between the two words.

Now, have I got the ideas being discussed correct?

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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