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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

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

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

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...

Roger Kehr
Computer Science Department         Darmstadt University of Technology