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A Flexible Indexing System


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Re: A few comments



Francois Pottier writes:
 > 
 > Hello,
 > 
 > I've switched from makeindex to xindy (version 1.2.3). I shall use it
 > to produce an index for my thesis, which is a TeX document written in
 > French.

Good choice ;-)
 
 > I have read Roger Kehr's paper about sorting in several stages,
 > right-to-left, etc. It sounds interesting. When is the new version
 > expected to come out?

Actually, it's just a matter of one or two weeks. At least the
versions for Linux/AIX/SunOS/Solaris will be available soon. 

Test versions are available at 

  http://www.iti.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de/xindy/alpha

Please gimme as much feedback as possible.

 > The system is nice and switching from makeindex is quite easy. I think
 > xindy would be more attractive to French users if a ready-made
 > configuration file and a makeindex-like script were available. (Of
 > course, the same comment should apply to other nationalities.)
 > Currently, using xindy with TeX in French requires:
 > 
 >  - writing a makeindex-like script which takes a .idx file and runs
 >    it through tex2xindy and xindy. This is fairly easy, except that
 >    tex2xindy doesn't seem to be documented at all.

The Perl-script makeindex4 does exactly what you want. It should be
part of the distribution.

 > Also, any European user of TeX is going to need a .xdy file with
 > the following:
 > 
 >   merging \'e into 
 >   merging ^^e9 into 
 > 
 > (plus, of course, similar merge rules for all of the ISO-Latin
 > alphabet). It would be nice if such a file was provided.

Yup, that's right and somebody told me the same some days ago. For the
moment I have generated four files that implement these mappings. They
are available at 

  http://www.iti.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de/xindy/modules/tex

Currently the TeX mappings are generated from the inputenc-package
definition files .def. Actually, I'm not sure if these mappings work
as expected, consider them as alpha. Please inform me if there
problems.

The problem is that currently the sort-mappings are designed to
operate only at level 0. We need a more flexible approach that allows
us to declare sort rules on more than one level at once. I'll think
about that.

 >  - writing a .xdy file, which contains pieces of makeindex.xdy plus
 >    French-specific commands. This requires reading the documentation
 >    and browsing through the 'modules' directory. Not easy for casual
 >    users.

I absolutely agree! Wouldn't that be a good job for you?

 > Please understand that I'm not complaining - on the contrary, xindy is
 > a nice and useful tool - but I suggest that these enhancements would
 > help it become a lot more popular in the TeX world.

Many thanks for your interest. Everybody is welcome to participate...


Cheers
--Roger
-- 
======================================================================
Roger Kehr			   kehr@iti.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de
Computer Science Department         Darmstadt University of Technology