[OS X TeX] TL2008 destroys my geometry

cfrees at imapmail.org cfrees at imapmail.org
Sun Jan 4 13:51:04 EST 2009

On Sun 4th Jan, 2009 at 13:12, Alain Schremmer seems to have written:

> On Jan 4, 2009, at 12:36 PM, Herbert Schulz wrote:
>> On Jan 4, 2009, at 11:01 AM, Alain Schremmer wrote:
>>> On Jan 4, 2009, at 11:37 AM, Peter Dyballa wrote:
>>>> you must not dictate how an user typesets his or her documents. 
>>>> Particularly foul is to load an input encoding clandestine. This will 
>>>> print an u from an input x (or something like that). The decision on 
>>>> encodings used belongs to the user, not the package author
>>> This anarchist agrees. But, the freedom must be real, that is the decision 
>>> on encodings must be CLEARLY posed to the user who must understand it. I 
>>> for one have no idea what the whole thing is.
>>> Best regards
>>> --schremmer
>> Howdy,
>> I assume you are talking about the whole encoding mess.
> Yes, but I didn't want to know!!!!
>> The problem is that once you get past the basic 128 character ASCII set 
>> there have been multiple, INCOMPATIBLE ways of representing (encoding) the 
>> extended character set; e.g., Mac Roman, Latin 1, UTF-8. The last encoding 
>> is the first that seems to have universal acceptance. TeX got around this 
>> problem by only using ASCII characters and macros to construct accented 
>> character, etc.
> First time I understand anything about the mess.
>> In LaTeX the inputenc package allows for a translation from the stored 
>> encoding to something LaTeX can understand.
> Ah!
>> There are actually three things that must cooperate. The Editor must save 
>> and read the source file in a known encoding so that it can display the 
>> extended character set correctly. In TeXShop this is done with a line such 
>> as
>> %%!TEX encoding = UTF-8 Unicode
>> near the top of the file before saving the file (or changing the default 
>> encoding to UTF-8 in TeXShop->Preferences). The second is to tell LaTeX how 
>> to interpret the extended character set (i.e., understand the a certain 
>> character number means é) using a line like
>> \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
>> for UTF-8 encoding. Finally the font you are using must have that character 
>> in a certain location in the font file. To do this a line like
>> \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
>> tells LaTeX how to map the particular input code to an actual glyph to be 
>> printed with ink onto the paper. Oh, one more thing, the font itself must 
>> have the character or a blank glyph will be printed; e.g., the Latin Modern 
>> fonts, an extended version of Computer Modern, does have the character 
>> while Computer Modern doesn't.
>> Hope that I've got that right and it's comprehensible.

One more thing: the font must be installed in such a way that it can be
used with the relevant encoding. LaTeX uses font definition files
(ending in .fd) which tell it about the fonts it uses. For example,
they tell it which font corresponds to which shape. These files are
encoding specific. So if you are using a font family xyz, you might
have t1xyz.fd, ts1xyz.fd, ot1xyz.fd etc. depending on what's been
installed. The reason \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} is effective for
Computer Modern is that there is a suitable font definition file. But
some fonts have font definition files for only certain encodings. If
you install fonts using fontinst, for example, you tell it which
encodings you want and fontinst produces an appropriate set of font
definition files for LaTeX.

I don't know if that makes sense. I mention it only because you might
try to use a font for which you'd need to use a different encoding such
as LY1 or OT1 and not knowing what enables \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} to
work its magic would make the situation (even) more confusing.

> This is the FIRST TIME I have put up with an explanation of the mess and I am 
> glad I did.
> BUT:
> I think that you should now put that explanation, perhaps slightly edited, 
> somewhere on the wiki in such a way that it would be one of the first things 
> a potential customer would encounter.
> And I remain unconvinced, should i suddenly decide to write in French, that I 
> would know what to do. Still, it is a worthwhile start.

I do provide a template on my personal page of the wiki. You only need
to uncomment the relevant lines an replace "welsh" with "french".
Comments in the template explain what the lines do. I'm sure there are
better templates, though.

- cfr

> Appreciative regards
> --schremmer
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