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Why are all languages selected by default in the MiKTeX 2.9 Settings (Admin)?

In my experience in the previous MiKTeX distributions, only a few languages were selected by default.

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Is there any hidden effect of this new setting?

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Presumably because a lot of people forget to turn their respective language on, and complain that their language did not work out of the box. TeXlive have been using 'all languages' for years. I think it is a good default choice – daleif Mar 7 '11 at 10:59

You would, of course, have to ask Christian Schenk for a definitive answer. However, it seems that a plausible line of reasoning is 'ease of use'. Most people never go near the settings boxes, so it's best if the defaults work for the majority. On a modern computer, including all of the hyphenation patterns is not a big issue (which is would have been in the past). So there is no real gain from omitting some languages: as @daleif comments, all that happens is that people are confused.

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Thanks for pointing this out. I deactivated all the extraneous languages rebuilt the formats and now compilation (or actually loading the formats) is much much faster! – user5359 May 6 '11 at 11:05

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