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Re: [PATCH] ox-latex.el: Unify in one single list Babel and Polyglossia

From: Juan Manuel Macías
Subject: Re: [PATCH] ox-latex.el: Unify in one single list Babel and Polyglossia languages alists
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2022 14:48:06 +0000

Ihor Radchenko writes:

> For Max's comment, using plist/alist would make things more clear
> code-wise for future developers. I always find it annoying when I need
> to go back and forth checking which element should be second or third or
> forth in the list. Especially if the variable is used all around the
> codebase. Though this particular case is not such -
> `org-latex-language-alist' is used just in few places.

I agree with Maxim and with you that an anonymous list is hardly usable
for future features. For this new list I followed the style of the
previous ones and I admit that I was quite conservative. The problem,
imho, is that with the current org implementation I find it difficult to
add new features. For example, Babel now has two ways of loading
languages: the old one, through ldf files, which is the one that Org
implements and that produces the traditional babel syntax; and the new
system through ini files, which also incorporates a new syntax with many
options and variants. New languages have been defined by ini files, but
cannot be loaded by the old syntax. That is the cause of the asterisks
in my list: when a language has an asterisk it means that it is only
served in babel through an ini file and, therefore, the traditional
syntax cannot be used, so it is not implemented for use in babel. And
furthermore, the new babel syntax and ini files can only be used with
the Unicode TeX engines: XeTeX and LuaTeX. This all looks like a puzzle
(I'm getting dizzy just rereading it :-)), and I don't see a clean and
sensible way to translate it to Org settings.

I also think that the current Org settings for loading languages with
Polyglossia or Babel is unhelpful and unclear. Also, it depends on
putting explicit LaTeX code in the document. A code that, in the case of
Polyglossia, is a fake LaTeX code, because something like this:


is not really the Polyglossia syntax. And it can lead to confusion.

I think this should be reimplemented in the future using a more
org-centric syntax, using keywords (somehow keeping the
above for backwards compatibility). I don't know, maybe something like
this, with a specific keyword for language LaTeX settings:

#+latex_language: es variant:mx babel-ini:t other:en,de,el etc.

In this case, I think it would make more sense to define a more robust
list, an alist or a plist (as Maxim suggested), leaving the door open to
a fresh reimplementation of langs in latex export. I can get to work as
soon as I have some time and finish with other commitments, that will
keep me busy practically all summer.


Best regards,

Juan Manuel 

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