[texworks] adding luatex and lualatex to the typesetting menu

Stefan Löffler st.loeffler at gmail.com
Wed Jul 13 20:48:22 CEST 2011


On 2011-07-13 20:22, Arno Trautmann wrote:
> Stefan Löffler wrote:
>> On 2011-07-10 07:49, Vafa Khalighi wrote:
>>> I use latest TeXworks stabe (whatever version it is) on ubuntu and
>>> there is no luatex and lualatex in the typesetting menue. I added it
>>> myself but was wondering if in future versions of texworks by default
>>> luatex and lualatex are added to the typesetting menue too.
>> In principle, this sounds reasonable. However, a few questions remain:
>> - Is lua*tex widespread already?
> At least the ~100 people that have been in my course use it. In total,
> not many may use it, but I think it is already far more popular than
> Omega ever was …

FWIW, Omega is not in our default list ;).

>> - Is it available (by default) on all large distros?
> Yes, it is in TeX live and MiKTeX. All Linux dristros that take TeX
> live also should have it if they are up to date.


>> - What is the benefit of lua*tex over the corresponding pdf*tex?
> • full unicode support
> • full support for smart fonts

This sounds reasonable to have for every user...

> • sane programming language
> • possibility to hook into the TeX engine at several important points
> and change what it's doing.

...while this I would consider something the average new TeX user has
little interest in exploring.

>> Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against your proposition in
>> principle, but I wonder if adding more and more options by default
>> benefits the (new) user, or rather becomes confusing (seeing how many
>> mails there were about TeX(works) not working back in the old days when
>> pdftex was the default instead of pdflatex)...
> Actually I didn't even think that you would consider it *not* to be
> added. I just thought “well, they are waiting some time until it
> spreads more”. However, if TeXworks does not provide Lua*TeX by
> default, some people will think teir distribution does not feature
> Lua*TeX and stick to pdf*TeX …

I do consider both adding it and not adding it. As I said above, my fear
is that users might be confused (as it is, they have to choose between
pdftex, pdflatex, XeTeX, XeLaTeX, BibTeX, and two ConTeXts if all they
want is "TeX" (and I know BibTeX is unrelated, but it has TeX in its
name)). So, if LuaTeX is intended to supersede pdfTeX, I could imagine
simply replacing the latter by the former. But in order to do that, it
must be stable, compatible, and available. That's why I asked.

On another point: people should realize early on that TeXworks is not
their distribution (I know they don't, but still the should ;)). That
said, there are uncountably many tools that people could install, either
officially through their distro, or manually, but providing access to
all of them by default defeats the purpose of Tw to provide a simple
editor. So, I guess it all comes down to the question: what does the
majority of new users expect to use? And what does the majority of new
users have installed by default (this includes average or even minimal
distro installations, not just the "full" variant)?


PS: I have to confess I'm not up to speed with all the engines out
there, especially when it goes in the direction of XeTeX or ConTeXt.
That's also why I might ask seemingly stupid questions ;).

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