[TxMt] LaTeX bundle problem

Max Lein realoreocookie at gmx.de
Wed Jul 4 21:12:00 UTC 2007

>> I understand the problem now. However, how come TextMate can  
>> detect what encoding was used for a file, and the scanner can not ?
> TextMate can *not* detect the encoding of your files. If you use  
> UTF- n encoding, there is a 99.9999…% chance that it will get it  
> right, but *any* other encoding, and TM’s guess is based on a  
> frequency table and how well your file corresponds to this  
> distribution when interpreted in the various encodings.
The problem with TextMate is that it essentially forces people to use  
UTF8. I have yet to find a way how to teach TextMate that my default  
encoding is Latin1 (even though this is the default encoding which I  
have set in the prefs): as long as a TeX file doesn't contain any  
special characters, it will automatically assume they are UTF8 files  
(ignoring my preference and -- if existant -- the metadata connected  
to that file).

> So anything else than mandating UTF-8 will make things break, and  
> there is no technical solution to this problem. Sure, you can have  
> things work “good enough” for some w/o going 100% UTF-8, and you  
> can maybe fix some of the stuff that breaks when you are not using  
> UTF-8, but you can never fix it all, so IMO it’s really not worth  
> trying to support more than UTF-8, UTF-8 is the solution to the  
> encoding problems of the past.
However, going UTF8 is sometimes just not an option. I frequently  
exchange files with people who work on Windows, Linux or Solaris and  
the standard encoding they use is usually Latin1. Yes, there are ways  
how to use UTF8 on other OS, but have you ever tried to convince  
someone to switch to UTF8 who still writes his papers in Plain TeX?

Instead of blindly arguing for people to convert to UTF8 (which is  
what I would use if I got to choose), you should accept that people  
(= customers) want to and sometimes need to work with other encodings  
as well.

I'm still longing for an `encoding per project' option which TextMate  
would stick to no matter what. And also an error message that tells  
me that I cannot save my .tex file in Latin1 because there are some  
(invisible) characters that prevent it from doing so (right now,  
it'll just revert to UTF8 without telling me).


UC Berkeley
Department of Physics
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