[tex-live] packages with characters > 127

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Thu Dec 31 00:43:51 CET 2009

    I've detected and sorted the packages in TeX Live 2009 that contain 
    8-bit characters > 127 (and thus cannot be used directly by LuaTeX nor 

Elie, I know you're just trying to improve things here, but something
seems fundamentally wrong to me with having to change long-existing and
long-working style files for the sake of these new engines.  The world
is not ever going to switch to all Unicode, and certainly has not done
so right now.  So I find this new "requirement" to be working against
ourselves.  The TeX world as a whole should be encoding agnostic IMHO,
not try to force everyone into one mold.

Is there no way to make the engines more forgiving?  At least in the
case of LuaTeX, some kind of callback that can deal with the different
encodings (ie, do the conversion to UTF-8 for internal purposes) before
the engine ever sees it?  In fact, I had the definite impression from
one of Hans/Taco's talks this was already being done.

In the case of XeTeX, I don't know.

    can LaTeX have the same behaviour as TeX for output files? 
    If yes, can ctan2tds be changed to make it happen? 

Yes and yes.  ctan2tds already uses latex by default to process
.ins/.dtx files.  Furthermore, whether latex or tex is used is
irrelevant; -translate-file=empty.tcx essentially forces ^^ notation.
That is what I did for etextools.

    The final question: is it useful to ask the authors of packages with 
    some 8-bit characters in the comments to change them? 

Not in my opinion.

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