[OS X TeX] Wish list

Frederick Hoyt fmhoyt at mail.utexas.edu
Sat Feb 12 15:49:47 EST 2005

> But we should have such a "wish list" for programmers in search of a 
> challenge or simply inclined to make LaTeX better.

(i) A tex-specific or at least tex-friendly editor which can handle 
bi-di text entry (bidi Texshop?). I have been doing Arabic xelatex in 
Texshop, and switching keyboards and pasting Arabic characters into 
tex-command argument brackets have some very strange results which is 
hard to read on the screen and which sometimes causes errors.

(ii) Proper bi-di rendering in tex. As I said above, I have been 
typesetting Arabic using xelatex, which works well enough for very 
simple paragraph and page structure, but I have been getting very 
frustrated with the difficulty of doing very basic things like hanging 
indents, setting tabs, etc. Even within a \beginR environment, these 
seem to stay anchored at the left edge. It would be nice to set an 
option in \documentclass, or perhaps to have a package which would 
cause the whole document to be typset relative to the right edge.

(iii) I agree with the suggestion that others have made that it would 
be nice to have a tex editor which could do discontinuous selection.

Two of my suggestions have to do with editors rather than latex itself. 
I have often wished that the people at Nisus or Redlex would include 
tex/latex modes for Nisus Writer or Mellel.

Also, I am still only knee-deep in learning about bidi in *tex. I am 
trying to learn about ConTeXt this week, since it now supports xetex, 
and I have heard about Omega, Aleph, etc. However, I have a lot 
commands defined for latex, and rely on many latex-specific packages, 
so I would rather not have to abandon these to migrate over to ConTeXt 
or some such. So ideally it would be nice to just have LaTeX do bidi 
well rather than have to give up on it.


Fred Hoyt


"Hell is other people at breakfast." - Sartre

Frederick M. Hoyt
Linguistics Department
University of Texas at Austin

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