[XeTeX] Hyphenation of strings of more than 63 characters

Peter Mukunda Pasedach peter.pasedach at googlemail.com
Sat Mar 19 21:10:38 CET 2016

I finally managed to build it in such a way that it identifies itself
with the right version number, I had to do a new clone of the sources
for that, didn't find out how to clean them up. Now how do I set the
parameter, as \XeTeXhyphenatablelength=1023 somewhere in my preamble
or as a command line option to xelatex? The former I'm afraid doesn't


On Sat, Mar 19, 2016 at 6:53 PM, Jonathan Kew <jfkthame at gmail.com> wrote:
> Peter,
> I have just pushed a new experimental branch named "max-hyph-len" to the
> xetex repository. The changes here implement a new integer parameter
>   \XeTeXhyphenatablelength
> which defaults to 63 (to maintain existing behavior), but can be increased
> to allow longer words to be hyphenated. (It can also be made smaller, but I
> doubt that's actually useful!)
> There's a compile-time limit of 4095; you can set the parameter larger than
> this, but the value actually used will remain clamped to this limit. That
> should be enough for your purposes, I hope!
> The values used for \lefthyphenmin and \righthyphenmin remain clamped to 63.
> If you (and others) could build and test this version, to check that I
> haven't broken things, that would be great. I've successfully hyphenated a
> couple of really long strings in a test file, but it's had only minimal
> exercise so far!
> Note that xetex.fmt (and any other .fmt files) will need to be rebuilt with
> the new version.
> It will identify itself as version 0.99996.
> JK
> On 18/3/16 08:43, Peter Mukunda Pasedach wrote:
>> I eventually managed to build xetex (on Ubuntu 14.04, with a TeX Live
>> 2015 installation kept up to date) by cloning the xetex sources from
>> sourceforge, then modified, as an experiment, xetex.web, replacing 63
>> by 1023 in the places that seemed relevant, only guessing which ones
>> they were, noticed that there's also small_number which is 63, which
>> might play a role, but I didn't touch it. Also tex.ch needed to be
>> adjusted to these changes. I had to install a few buildtools and
>> libraries until it would build (by running the build.sh script), after
>> some time I had a binary xetex in the build directory which after
>> backing up the one from my regular texlive installation I copied into
>> its place. Then `fmtutil --all`. After that I noticed that also
>> xdvipdfmx needed to be replaced, so I followed the procedure here
>> https://www.tug.org/texlive/doc/tlbuild.html#Build-one-package backed
>> up xdvipdfmx and replaced it with the new one. After that xelatex
>> works with simple files, but once I try a file with strings longer
>> than 63 characters it segfaults at the first of these, well, maybe
>> that was to be expected...
>> Peter
>> On Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 10:11 AM, Philip Taylor <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk>
>> wrote:
>>> Jonathan Kew wrote:
>>>> I'll try to get an experimental patch ready shortly. Or, of course,
>>>> someone else is welcome to try. I don't think it's very hard, but it is
>>>> more than just a single number.
>>> I have never attempted to modify *TeX since it ceased to be compiled as
>>> Pascal (a language which I liked and understood -- the complete opposite
>>> of my non-relationship with C); what is involved in compiling *TeX these
>>> days, with particular reference to compiling for the Windows platform ?
>>> Philip Taylor
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