[texworks] Lua scripting

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sun Jun 14 23:45:08 CEST 2009

On 14 June 2009 Jérome Laurens wrote:

 > Things are not that simple.
 > TeXWorks natural audience is the beginner in TeX, and most probably in  
 > scripting too. [...]

I never had in mind that users should be bothered with scripting at
all.  They should neither be forced nor encouraged to write their own
scripts or to install arbitrary scripts they find in the internet.

The TeXworks User's Manual shouldn't explain Lua at all, maybe not
even mention it.  It's better to have a separate Programmer's Manual
for people who want to contribute.

All these scripts should be part of the TeXworks distribution.  If
someone wants to contribute, he has to ask Jonathan to add his script
to the distribution.

I also expect that people do not install TeXworks and the scripts
themselves.  They will be part of all major TeX distributions and you
can trust them as much as you trust any other program in this

There are no security problems.  TeX Live already provides scripts
written in Perl.  They are not safer than any TeXworks Lua scripts but
nobody asked to provide a "restricted Perl".

Similarly, most of Emacs' functionality comes from scripts.  But
nobody complained that Emacs is insecure, though there aren't any
restrictions.  I don't think that TeXworks has to be more restrictive
than Emacs.  Regarding all the security issues, I think we can learn a
lot from Emacs because it's one of the first programs which provided a
scripting language, has no restrictions, and is not considered to be
unsafe.  So, what's the difference between Emacs and TeXworks in this
respect?  One can always construct problems which actually don't exist.

If anybody expects any security problems, please explain why they are
only relevant to TeXworks and not to Emacs.  What's the difference?


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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