Discussion:
Showing different languages on PlainTex
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Elof Huang
2017-11-26 13:40:03 UTC
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As Plain Tex is created by Donald Knuth, English Speaker, but how do we
using different language on Tex?
Peter Flynn
2017-11-26 19:14:24 UTC
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Post by Elof Huang
As Plain Tex is created by Donald Knuth, English Speaker, but how do we
using different language on Tex?
By using LaTeX.

///Peter
Elof Huang
2017-11-27 03:10:34 UTC
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Post by Peter Flynn
Post by Elof Huang
As Plain Tex is created by Donald Knuth, English Speaker, but how do
we using different language on Tex?
By using LaTeX.
///Peter
Can't we use Plain Tex directly? Or displaying different language is an
inevitable disadvantage of Plain Tex?
Robert Heller
2017-11-27 03:41:00 UTC
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Post by Elof Huang
Post by Peter Flynn
Post by Elof Huang
As Plain Tex is created by Donald Knuth, English Speaker, but how do
we using different language on Tex?
By using LaTeX.
///Peter
Can't we use Plain Tex directly? Or displaying different language is an
inevitable disadvantage of Plain Tex?
You could use Plain Tex, but you would need to add in the "infrastructure" (eg
support macros and such) needed to do it. Not impossible, just a lot of work.
Note it is only really complicated if the "other language(s)" use a different
alphabet, and get worse if it goes right to left (eg Hebrew or Arabic). If the
other language uses the same Latin alphabet as English (say, French or
Italian), there is nothing stopping you from just using Plain Tex as is (yes,
you will have to deal with accents and such). LaTeX has all of the
"infrastructure" to do this as part of its base and standard package files.
Afterall, LaTeX is in fact layered on top of the same engine as Plain TeX. Why
re-invent the wheel -- eg rewrite a large part of LaTeX "from scratch"?
--
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T.K.
2017-11-27 09:17:24 UTC
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Post by Elof Huang
As Plain Tex is created by Donald Knuth, English Speaker, but how do we
using different language on Tex?
Concerning the 8-bit engines (TeX, pdfTeX), you can have a look at some
works of Petr Olšák,a czech plainTeX enthusiast:

1) encTeX – a clever TeX engine modification allowing practically
unlimited remapping of input characters (and character sequences
including multibyte unicode characters!) to different characters or to
macros in 8-bit TeX engines. No active characters needed. Very useful in
language support.

2) OFS – a system for easy font (and font encoding!) switching closely
cooperating with
3) “lang” module – a system to easily switch languages.

(1) is a stable part of TeXLive.
(2) and (3) are parts of Olšák’s project OKTeX which he unfortunately
abbandoned unfinished. Nevertheless, these two modules are fully
functional and usable. (2) is contained in TeXLive, (3) is available at
ftp://ftp.muni.cz/pub/tex/local/cstug/olsak/oktex.

Tom

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