[tex-live] serious `slovak' Babel bug

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Mon Jan 4 18:10:29 CET 2010

2010/1/4 Robin Fairbairns <Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk>:
> Werner LEMBERG <wl at gnu.org> wrote:
>> >> Well, the `latin' language module shows how to handle it in a graceful
>> >> way.
>> >
>> > Not really. E.g in the following example latex simply hangs if I
>> > don't uncomment the \ProsodicMarksOff [...]:
>> I'm not sure whether it can be done better.  However, the
>> documentation mentions catcode issues, so Joe User has probably a
>> better chance to identify the problem here.
> ime, most "joe user" type people will turn off when encountering the
> phrase "catcode issues".  they may be commonplace to many readers of
> this list, but an ordinary latex-user-in-the-street wouldn't encounter a
> catcode change from one year's end to the next.  (what latex books
> have catcodes listed in the index? -- none that i have available to me,
> and neither lshort nor "beginning latex" mentions it either.)
And even if they are more educated, the error message dos not tell
them anything about the reason. These users do not know that they
should set \errorcontextlines to a higher value. I would agree to
remove the ^ shorthand from slovak.sty if the Slovak users agreed.
There are other issues in czech.sty and slovak.sty though...

> anyway, istm that we are reaching the limit of what babel can reasonably
> do: it's an inherently 7-bit system (extended to 8 bits by inputenc/
> fontenc), but we're discussing an interaction between its 7-bit hacks
> and the needs of engines using unicode input.
> that said, i remember being worried by the use of ^^ in tex, when i
> first read about it (it seemed a syntax overload too far, even then).
> given that i would have been reading that stuff more than 20 years ago,
> i reckon, ^^ has had a pretty good run for its money.
> r

Zdeněk Wagner

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