[OS X TeX] Input encoding question

Peter Dyballa Peter_Dyballa at Web.DE
Fri Feb 20 02:49:09 EST 2009

Am 20.02.2009 um 08:07 schrieb Axel E. Retif:

> My point in favor of a utf-8 default is, 1) most of (La)TeX and  
> ConTeXt users around the world need more than 127 characters, and  
> we are already accustomed to input them directly with either  
> latin1, latin9 or utf-8; and 2) most of recent TeX editors (v.gr.,  
> TeXmaker, TeXworks) have already utf-8 as default.

Just because *some* software can handle it, it's not reason enough.  
Files grow big because some (statistically: quite all) characters are  
represented by more than one byte, software needs to extra-process  
these byte sequences. And LaTeX and ConTeXt are mostly 8 bit  
applications with a 7 bit core.

>> The TeX world is moving toward unicode: see XeTeX and luaTeX and  
>> other developments. On the other hand, compatibility with older  
>> sources is unusually important in the TeX world, so I expect that  
>> a wide range of encodings will work as long as TeX itself survives.
> Yes, for sure LaTeX will understand applemac, but the thing is,  
> will future TeX editors understand it?

Yes. Because the file that describes this LaTeX encoding is part of a  
TeX distribution. An editor that does not support a LaTeX encoding is  
no "TeX editor."

> I mean, even if LaTeX typesets your document OK, how will your text  
> look in future editors?

Mostly: readable. Otherwise you wouldn't know what you started to  
write one or two hours (days, weeks, months, ...) ago.

> Or maybe I'm not understanding the encoding question right?

Maybe it'll help you to write (by copy&paste for example) a TeX  
document with Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic (all are 7 or 8 bit  
encodings) content in UTF-8 encoding and then LaTeX or ConTeXt it and  
make it appear on paper or on screen as it should be.



There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.  
We don't believe this to be a coincidence.
				- Jeremy S. Anderson

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