[texworks] adding luatex and lualatex to the typesetting menu

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Wed Jul 13 23:09:28 CEST 2011

On Jul 13, 2011, at 1:48 PM, Stefan Löffler wrote:

> Hi,
> 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.
> OK.
>>> - 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)?
> Cheers,
> Stefan
> 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 ;).


As a start, why not make a lualatex tool for running lualatex and then teach people to put the line

% !TEX TS-program = lualatex

at the top of the source file.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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