[XeTeX] Babel

Apostolos Syropoulos asyropoulos at yahoo.com
Fri May 4 09:33:48 CEST 2012

> Do you want to say that Leslie Lamport lied when stating that LaTeX
> (even v. 2.09) is international? Do you want to say that the babel

Many years ago a friend of mine prepared his MSc thesis using
nroff and the text he was "setting" was Greek. Does this mean
that people should maintain nroff? Does this mean that people
should continue using nroff? As far it regards, Lamport I don't
think he created LaTeX for people who prepare documents in
languages other than English. The same applies to TeX itself.
Knuth just added 8-bit support to enable "support" for 
languages that use the Latin alphabet. 

> authors used to lie us? Do you want to say that LaTeX cannot be used
> for non-English languages? Well, I used it to typeset Czech, Russian

The correct term is "for languages that do not use the Latin
alphabet" and although I am one of these authors, I do say
that it is a mistake to update babel. This package is 
history and no one should update it. It should remain
there only for those poor souls who can't or don't want to
"upgrade" their old source files. 

> German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Classical Greek, Modern
> Greek, French, Plattdeutsh, Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnamese, Mongolian,

Try to write Greek with babel and with XeTeX: babal is just pain in
@$$ whilst XeLaTeX simply rocks! Do you understand now what I am

> time by converting various symbols to macros. But do not tell me that
> LaTeX is unsuitable for multilingual processing because it is not
> true. I hope that the list of languages given above is large enough.

It is unsuitable because it was not designed to be so! Typesetting
Greek demands Greek fonts encoded in some stupid and archaic
encoding and the use of some transliteration encoding files.
If you call this "suitable", then I simply rest my case! Otherwise,
just admit that TeX is unsuitable for multilingual typesetting and
babel should remain there for reasons of backwards compatibility and 
that's all. 

Apostolos Syropoulos
Xanthi, Greece

More information about the XeTeX mailing list