[tex-live] Technical showstopper

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Sat Sep 13 21:06:20 CEST 2003

At 14:33 13/09/2003 +0200, Fabrice Popineau wrote:

> > does this create serious problems for these formats (Plain/ConTeXt)?
> > i.e. when they read characters in ^^ notation, are the results
> > different from reading the corresponding 8-bit characters? BTW, the ^^
> > notation has been the default in TeX for the 8-bit characters for a
> > long time. so if someone wishes to change to non-standard way TeX
> > writes 8-bit chars to files, why not use the non-standard option like
> > --translate-file ?
>For the moment and for ConTeXt, I would say yes.
>My point is:
>- we have a texlive 8 whose behaviour is different for the texlive 7 is
>this aspect, that should be at least stated
>- if tex pretends to be eight bits compatible, I  don't see any point in
>keeping this ^^ notation. If it reads 0xe9 in a file,  it should be able
>to write it too.
>Patrick Gundlach and Daniel Flipo at least had problems with that issue (or
>that's what I have been told). Maybe they can comment about it.

The ^^ notation may spoil tables of contents, indexes (as well as confuse 
sorting programs) and other multi-pass solutions, as well as (in the case 
of context) buffering, content reuse, indirect verbatim, and (when 8 but is 
used) javascript and metapost support as well.

I can live with ^^ to the terminal (screen) and log file (although it will 
make tex look quite rediculous and backward in some cases), but with 
regards to writing to file ... 8 bit == 8 bit; if users want ^^ in there 
writes as well, they could always use a filter (i.e. why bother the 
majority of 8 bit tex users with the need to specify a translate filter for 
the benefit of a small group of ^^ users)


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