Re: Documentation (was Re: [OS X TeX] Kanbun (漢文) and French...)

cfrees at cfrees at
Sun Jan 4 10:25:05 EST 2009

On Sun 4th Jan, 2009 at 15:39, Jean-Christophe Helary seems to have written:

> But as a 1995-2008 Mac user (and we are on a Mac list here, aren't we ?), I'd 
> like to say that the issue is not how the font looks, but how much characters 
> it covers (besides for the fact that I have no idea where Computer Modern is 
> located on my machine so I can't even check what it supports by using the 
> system provided tools). In that respect Times New Roman is a much better 
> choice because it supports:
>> Afrikaans, Albanian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, 
>> Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, 
>> Faroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hawaiian, Hungarian, 
>> Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Kalaallisut, Kazakh, Latvian, 
>> Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Manx, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian 
>> Nynorsk, Oromo, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, 
>> Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek, 
>> Vietnamese, Welsh
> by default.
> So, instead of having to explain new users that their language is a problem 
> so they need to specify something to override the defaults, just using TNR 
> (for example) in XeteX (for example) would solve a major documentation issue 
> for that many languages !

Well, TNR is obviously not an option since it is not free. The default
must be guaranteed to be available on all the platforms TeX runs on.
This essentially means it must be included in the TeX distribution. In
the case of TeX Live (MacTeX is TL + extras), this means the font must
be available in a minimal installation. I'm not sure what fonts this
would be true of but it probably means Computer Modern is not a bad
choice. (If Latin Modern was guaranteed to be available it might be a
better choice but it isn't guaranteed so it isn't an option.)

The default choices have to work in a huge variety of situations. These
are not _MacTeX_ choices at all.

- cfr

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