[tex-live] Technical showstoppers for TL2003

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Sun Sep 14 01:04:03 CEST 2003

At 23:37 13/09/2003 +0400, Vladimir Volovich wrote:

>in my opinion, macro packages should write to files in encoding
>independent form (e.g. like the LaTeX does) - that's really portable.

say that (in context) one says:

   abcd\eacute <8bitchar representing \eacute> ^^ef

(the buffer is written to file) and then later on:


(which reads the file) now, what is supposed to end up typeset? The literal 
code between \startbuffer and stopbuffer, so \eacute (as string) the o bit 
char, and ^^ef (literal). if the <8bitchar> was expanded to \eacute or ^^ef 
then that would be typeset verbatim since there is no way (unless one 
starts adding additional code to trigger things in which case some kind of 
escape character would be needed). This in itself would present other 
problems, think of:

<tag>some text including 8 bit chars</tag>

here context can handle the buffer as verbatim text, tex text, xml ... or 
think of

draw btex whatever kind of french accented text you want etex ;


   str = "something in pdfdoc encoding with 8 but chars"

so, control over what gets 'expanded' or 'translated' is up to the 
application (macro package) and it really depends on what one is dealing 
with (internally context uses named glyphs for typeset material) and for 
this purpose 8 bit in is 8 bit out. Otherwise we would force all other (non 
tex) applications to think like tex when reading data (with ^^'s) which i 
think is no real option -)


                                   Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE | pragma at wxs.nl
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