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# What’s new in babel 3.85

2023-01-23

## Separators in layout

For technical reasons, spaces couldn’t be used formerly as separators in the list of values passed to layout, and therefore babel replaced them with dots. This restriction has been lifted recently in the LaTeX kernel, and therefore spaces are fine and the recommended syntax. So, now

\usepackage[arabic, provide=*, bidi=basic, layout=captions lists]{babel}


is to be preferred to

\usepackage[arabic, provide=*, bidi=basic, layout=captions.lists]{babel}


## Enabling and disabling transforms

A higher level interface to enable y disable transforms has been devised (see the lower level here, based on the transform label. There are now two macros for this purpose, as shown in the following example:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[latin, provide=*]{babel}
\babelprovide[transforms = letters.uv]{latin}
\begin{document}

VOLUP volup
\disablelocaletransform{letters.uv} VOLUP volup
\enablelocaletransform{letters.uv}  VOLUP volup

\end{document}


This prints “VOLVP uolup VOLUP volup VOLVP uolup”.

They are applied to the current locale.

## Font-dependent transforms

Sometimes, a transform doesn’t work well in all fonts. For example, the rules for Arabic kashida can differ depending on the font design. Besides a label, a list of fonts can be provided with a new key fonts= as shown:

\babelprehyphenation[label=transform.name, fonts=rm sf]{..}{..}


Transforms are enabled or disabled with font selectors. Tags can adopt two forms: a family, such as rm or tt, or the set family/series/shape. If a font matches any of these conditions, the transform is enabled (which means he second tag in rm rm/n/it is redundant). There are no wildcards; so, for italics you may want to write something like sf/m/it sf/b/it.

Transforms set for specific fonts (at least once in any language) are always reset with a font selector. Currently they cannot be enabled or disabled with the macros described in the previous section.

In \babelprovide, transform labels can be tagged before its name, with a list separated with colonsm like:

transforms = rm:sf:transform.name


## Fixes

The main fix is related to tabular. When attempting to fix amsmath, bidi text was broken if layout=tabular was not set. Its behavior has been improved, but some issues remain (for example, position of vertical rules with |).

Other fixes are:

• \babelprehyphenation was not applied with onchar.
• In some rare cases the hyphenrules weren’t correctly set.