Babel development news

A few months ago, Javier Bezos offered to take over dealing with babel maintenance. He’s been working on getting things in order, and collecting up bug reports, and has now set up a page for development news. Javier has included a road map of what he’s hoping to do, all of which looks very sensible to me. I particularly welcome the idea that he’s going to stick to the core part of babel (the mechanisms), with each language viewed as a module to be maintained by someone knowledgeable. One of the issues babel has faced is that it’s simply not realistic to handle all of that in one place. It’s great that he’s putting the effort in.

babel gets back on track

Posted today to the LaTeX-L list by Javier Bezos

Babel gets back on track and it is again actively maintained. The goals are mainly to fix bugs, to make it compatible with XeTeX and LuaTeX (as far as possible), and perhaps to add some minor new features (provided they are backward compatible).

No attempt will be done to take full advantage of the features provided by XeTeX and LuaTeX, which would require a completely new core (as for example polyglossia or as part of LaTeX3).

Your comments or suggestions (or questions!) are welcomed.

Hopefully we’ll see some long-standing babel bugs sorted out in the near future: many thanks to Javier for taking this up!

Babel woes

I’ve had a couple of babel-related bug reports for siunitx. The first was with the Spanish language option, where the \percent unit misbehaves as \% is redefined by babel. My fix for this has then caused a problem with the Italian language option, as it makes ” an active character. So the latest release (v1.2d) fixes this too: apologies for the problems.

All of this makes more more eager than ever that a general move to UTF-8 input happens. This should cut down on the need for babel. At the same time, an updated LaTeX kernel (LaTeX3) which includes more functionality would also help package authors know what to expect.