[tex-live] [tex-hyphen] german hyphenation patterns

Stephan Hennig mailing_list at arcor.de
Tue Jun 10 18:23:07 CEST 2008

Mojca Miklavec schrieb:
> On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 12:03 PM, Stephan Hennig wrote:
> - if users start using dated patterns now, you will soon need to
> provide dozens of megabytes to keep backward compatibility (and I bet
> that the new dated version will only differ in maybe three or four
> patterns), and if you change the way or strategy - will you keep those
> dozens of megabytes for the sake of not even a dozen of users or are
> you going to let them down by not providing that file in the
> distribution any more, and thus breaking the documents?

That doesn't hold.  The experimental patterns could be removed any time
without harm.  Using old or new patterns as standard in XeTeX makes no
difference for that reason.  What's chosen now has to be kept forever.
Well, I've made a tiny poll at the trennmuster-opensource list about
this question and let you know about our consensus.

> - we're ready to put some hacks into new patten loading scheme; after
> all - german patterns are already an exception, and if you can tell us
> how to figure out if user requested new patterns, we can load new ones
> instead of the old ones

See below about hyphsubst's approach.

> - I would vote for putting only a single version of patterns on TeX
> Live, but if users want to experiment with dated versions outside of
> the release, they should be free to do so (if they had to fiddle
> themselves, they will at least know what to do if that breaks in the
> next release of TeX Live)
> - TeX Live is going to provide packages with updates, so you can
> implement upgrades and ship new patterns also after the official
> realease


> - keep in mind that other languages are upgrading patterns as well; if
> you're providing a way to change patterns based on version, it would
> be nice if you would release the scheme once it would be clear how
> other languages can benefit from it as well, or how other languages
> can do the same - but it's the wrong timing to get that done before TL
> 2008

ACK.  Please consider hyphsubst experimental, too.  Adding this to TeX
Live 2008 shouldn't harm, but instead give other language pattern
generators the opportunity to test it.  In the long run, I'd really like
to see something like that integrated into Babel.

> I would vote for:
> - some basic support for new patterns (with a big warning sign - use
> at your own risk), to be able to get user feedback

ACK.  As it now looks to me, experimental hyphenation patterns do not
necessarily need to be added to language.dat by default (for pdfTeX).
If it is possible for TL's package management to activate them at
request, a simple package would do as well.  And nobody should complain
in the future if these patterns are removed from TL again.

As for XeTeX, we might possibly switch to the new patterns now, but I'll
let you know about the poll.

> But to be honest, I do not know the details of your work. I only
> suspect that anything you will do now will very soon be a bit obsolete
> (not the patterns themselves, but the way of loading them in some
> hackish way).

Hyphsubst is not that much of a hack.  The basic idea is to provide a
LaTeX front-end for replacing

  \l@<language name>

with different patterns.  It looks to me as if Babel was written with
this level of abstraction already in mind (but I don't know).  The rest
is the


naming convention.  I hope something like that will be possible with
XeTeX & Polyglossia, too.  That way, the question what patterns are
bound to a language name by default is not so important any more.  Could
anyone please clarify that?

>> Version control of evolving hyphenation patterns is what package
>> hyphsubst was written for.  How does this relate to XeTeX?
> Do hyphsubst any polyglossia know for each other?

I don't think so.

> (Babel doesn't work in XeTeX, polyglossia is babel replacement.)

Ah, didn't know that.

Best regards,
Stephan Hennig

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