[XeTeX] Xetex in lao (another try)

Robert M Campbell robert.rcampbell at gmail.com
Mon Sep 23 12:16:23 CEST 2013

>> I'd like to do something similar for firefox, inkscape,
>> openoffice, libreoffice, etc. The more I can do for them upfront, the
>> better.
> I don't know anything about Inkscape and I don't know how
> Open/LibreOffice and Firefox deal with word splitting, but TeX
> hyphenation patterns for syllabification should "automatically" work
> with Open/LibreOffice and Firefox for example (that is: once they are
> created and included upstream; no special patches are needed).

That would be good! I can do research and work with the other software
programs as time allows to get things moving on that end...

>> ICU does various boundary detections, but if only the word break iterator is
>> being used, then a solution for syllables would be needed for hyphenation...
> Are you suggesting that the patch at
>     http://bugs.icu-project.org/trac/changeset/34229
> is sufficient for syllabification? I don't quite understand the code,
> but it seems to simple to me to implement syllabification. It looks to
> me like it does dictionary-based word splitting only.
> Of course it's a different question of how to use syllabification from
> ICU in XeTeX if one is/was available, but at the moment I'm not sure
> if it is implemented at all.
> If syllabification is still needed, I have a semi-working patterns,
> but they need some fixes and last time when I wanted to finish them, I
> didn't get sufficient feedback/explanation. I'm still willing to
> finish them, but I don't have time to work on it right now.

No, syllabification needs to come from rules or a syllable list...

I could work on providing the feedback needed. http://www.laobible.net/
provides a decent source of text content to test against, and I could
get a Lao person and/or language experts to check it. Also another site,
http://laosabbathschool.com may provide more example text.

Are there any other things I could provide that might make the process

>> Thankfully, I have a Lao Syllable List attached (ods spreadsheet), as well
>> as a document (pdf) describing how things work (if a regex method would be
>> preferred). Could this be useful for hyphenation?
> Yes, it could. I didn't open the syllable list yet and I'm familiar
> with the other PDF document, but I had a bunch of questions a while
> back.

When you have time, I might be able to provide some of those answers by
myself or by talking with others (my wife knows Lao even better than I,
and we have several frineds here in Vientiane, as well as other parts of
the world who are experts at it).

>> What is the best approach?
> I don't know if ICU supports syllabification, but if it does, it makes
> sense to make sure that it will work in ICU.
> I'm willing to finish the work on patterns if it turns out to be
> useful/needed, but probably not in the next few months. (You can use
> the partial/imperfect patterns until then, or try to finish the work
> yourself.)
> If/when I start working on patterns again, it would be really helpful
> to have a free utility to do syllabification on an arbitrary text. And
> if that is not possible at least a long properly split text and
> someone to answer my questions.

I don't think it does for Lao. I think it could be helpful. Let me know,
when you have time to work on it, and I can help provide feedback.

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