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9. History and Projects

9.1 News: Changes in Recent Versions of X-Symbol  Changes in recent versions.
9.2 Wishlist: Projects for X-Symbol  Projects for X-Symbol.
9.3 Open Questions  How you can contribute.
9.4 Acknowledgments  People having contributed.

9.1 News: Changes in Recent Versions of X-Symbol

This is the complete history of X-Symbol. It just lists the major changes before Version 3.0.

9.1.1 Changes in X-Symbol 4.5.1  To be announced.
9.1.2 Changes in X-Symbol 4.5  Released Mar 2003 as beta.
9.1.3 Changes in X-Symbol 4.2 to 4.4  Released June 2002 as beta.
9.1.4 Changes in X-Symbol 4.1  Released Mar 2002 as beta.
9.1.5 Changes in X-Symbol 3.4  Released Mar 2002.
9.1.6 Changes in X-Symbol 3.3  Released Jan 1999.
9.1.7 Changes in X-Symbol 3.2  Released Dec 1998.
9.1.8 Changes in X-Symbol 3.1  Released Oct 1998.
9.1.9 Changes in X-Symbol 3.0  Released Sep 1998 as beta.
9.1.10 Changes in Old Releases.  Overview of old releases.

9.1.1 Changes in X-Symbol 4.5.1

Version 4.5.1 has not yet been announced.

9.1.2 Changes in X-Symbol 4.5

Version 4.5 has been released on March 2003 as beta.

9.1.3 Changes in X-Symbol 4.2 to 4.4

Version 4.4 has been released on June 2002 as beta.

9.1.4 Changes in X-Symbol 4.1

Version 4.1 has been released on Mar 2002 as beta.

9.1.5 Changes in X-Symbol 3.4

Version 3.4 has been released on Mar 2002.

9.1.6 Changes in X-Symbol 3.3

Version 3.3 has been released on Jan 1999.

9.1.7 Changes in X-Symbol 3.2

Version 3.2 has been released on Dec 1998.

9.1.8 Changes in X-Symbol 3.1

Version 3.1 has been released on Oct 1998.

9.1.9 Changes in X-Symbol 3.0

Version 3.0 has been released on Sep 1998 as beta.

9.1.10 Changes in Old Releases.

This sections gives just an overview of the major changes in the releases.

Version 2.6 has been released on Oct 1998.

Version 2.5 has been released on Mar 1998.

Version 2.4 has been released on Mar 1997.

Version 2.3 has been released on Sep 1996.

Version 2.2 has been released on June 1996.

Version 2.1 has been released on April 1996.

Version 1.4 has been released on Feb 1996.

Version 1.3 has been released on Jan 1996.

Version 1.2 has been released on Jan 1996. It was the first release.

9.2 Wishlist: Projects for X-Symbol

You are encouraged to try to provide a solution to one of the problems of this section. In fact, it is quite unlikely that I do it myself without any contributions from you, see also 9.3 Open Questions.

Providing a solution to these problems is the second way of making your name appear in 9.4 Acknowledgments.

9.2.1 Wishlist: Additional Token Languages  Additional token languages.
9.2.2 Wishlist: Generated Fonts  Automatically generated fonts.
9.2.3 Wishlist: Changes in Emacs/XEmacs  Changes in Emacs/XEmacs.
9.2.4 Wishlist: Changes in LaTeX  Changes in LaTeX.
9.2.5 Various Projects for X-Symbol  Other changes.
9.2.6 Rejected Suggestions for X-Symbol  

9.2.1 Wishlist: Additional Token Languages

Making a contribution here would require just a basic knowledge of Emacs and X-Symbol. In fact, I would do the non-trivial part of the Emacs Lisp part (see section 7.4 Extending Package X-Symbol) for general-interest token languages (e.g., AmsTeX).

It is likely that this would require additional fonts: available fonts (e.g., IPA font), hand-crafted, or generated (see section 9.2.2 Wishlist: Generated Fonts).

9.2.2 Wishlist: Generated Fonts

A specific direction of font generation would be from `.bdf' or `.pcf' font files to Windows fonts to get rid of the limited support for XEmacs on Windows (see section 2.1 Requirements). If you have successfully converted X-Symbol's fonts from the Unix format to the Windows format (via bdftofon or whatever) or if you have free and real Latin-N fonts for Windows, please let me know! I would also appreciate if you would actively try to get those missing Windows fonts.

The general direction is to automatically generate the `.bdf' or `.fon' fonts from other sources. This would have various advantages:

New fonts for X-Symbol are being worked on. You can find material to generate them at the web pages of X-Symbol. Quite a few problems needs to be fixed though, so it is considered as experimental. You are welcome to try, fix and report on the X-Symbol development mailing list.

General open design issues (i.e., they could be re-thought for the currently used handcrafted fonts, too) are:

We could ask the question whether we should really distinguish the characters by appearance...we have the minibuffer info for the X-Symbol character anyway.... Here are the options:

9.2.3 Wishlist: Changes in Emacs/XEmacs

Changes in Emacs and/or XEmacs would improve package X-Symbol, too:

9.2.4 Wishlist: Changes in LaTeX

Changes in LaTeX, especially `inputenc.sty', would improve package X-Symbol, too:

9.2.5 Various Projects for X-Symbol

The following suggestions seem to be useful, though not essential:

9.2.6 Rejected Suggestions for X-Symbol

The following suggestions seem to be not useful enough to be worth the additional effort and increased package size. I might be convinced otherwise by patches (i.e., code, not text), though:

9.3 Open Questions

This section lists some minor open questions.

9.4 Acknowledgments

Stefan Monnier did many of the changes necessary for porting X-Symbol to Emacs-21. Fortunately, he not only changed X-Symbol to use a quite different API on Emacs for things like charsets and menus, he also made the necessary changes in Emacs itself. Before that, Sang-Min Lee started porting X-Symbol to Emacs-20.4, which was important for moving the status of the Emacs port of X-Symbol from "todo" to "in work".

David Kastrup demonstrated that the old way of encoding characters to TeX macros generally inhibited ligatures and kerns, i.e., it was worse than expected. He also discussed the details of how to do the encoding and decoding right. Christophe Raffalli suggested to use a decode method which can be used for a larger class of token languages. He also proved that it is faster.

Solofo Ramangalahy is working on scripts to generate X-Symbol fonts from other sources. This has various advantages and is discussed in more detail at 9.2.2 Wishlist: Generated Fonts. His work is now available at the X-Symbol download area.

Package math-mode by Renaud Marlet and the extension of it by Julian Bradfield gave the basic idea for the following features: supporting TeX's math macros, input methods token, context/electric, super-/subscript support. The shell script makesub is a merge and change of the scripts makesupers and makesub by Julian.

The font `xsymb0', which is distributed with this package, is a minor modification (appearance) of the Adobe symbol font, thanks to its non-restrictive copyright. You may use the Adobe font instead. The special images are from package frame-icon.

The idea for Help during an X-Symbol key sequence is from package x-compose. The general idea for showing some info in the echo area is from package eldoc. The trick which stops expand-abbrev is from package mail-abbrevs. The idea for x-symbol-image-cache-directories is from package fast-lock. The code for image command parsing is influenced by some code in package font-lock. The code around x-symbol-image-delete-extents is based on some code in package bib-cite.

Thanks for patches/reports/suggestions to: Adrian Aichner, Vladimir Alexiev, David Aspinall, Masayuki Ataka, Neal Becker, Matthias Berberich, Stefano Bianchi, Janusz S. Bien, Uwe Brauer, Alastair Burt, John Collins, Laurent Descamps, Frederic Devernay, Carsten Dominik, Steve Dunham, Michael Ebner, Stephen Eglen, Paul Furnanz, Jeffrey Grandy, Clemens Gröpl, Kenichi Handa, Meik Hellmund, Ryurick M. Hristev, Adriaan Joubert, Marcin Kasperski, David Kastrup, Richard Ketchersid, Felix E. Klee, Gerwin Klein, Thomas Kleymann, Ekkehard Koehler, Fred Labrosse, Jan-Ake Larsson, Bernhard Lehner, Stefan Monnier, Harald Muehlboeck, Karsten Muehlmann, Jakub Narebski, Peter Møller Neergaard, Raymond Nijssen, David von Oheimb, Alex Ott, Sudeep Kumar Palat, Arshak Petrosyan, Jim Radford, Christophe Raffalli, Solofo Ramangalahy, Alex Russell, Marciano Siniscalchi, Richard M. Stallman, Axel Thimm, Eli Tziperman, Jan Vroonhof, Markus Wenzel, Sabine Wetzel, Pierre-Henri Wuillemin, Roland Zumkeller, Marco Zunino, Gerard Zwaan.

Thanks for general information to: Per Abrahamsen, Steve L. Baur, Kenichi Handa, David Kastrup, Gerd Moellmann, Stefan Monnier, Primoz Peterlin, Martin Ramsch, Peter Schmitt, Toby Speight, Jan Vroonhof, Eli Zaretskii.

I made use of information from the following URLs:


I do not intend to update this list in the future--this is just an "Acknowledgment" section.

This document was generated by Christoph Wedler on December, 8 2003 using texi2html