[texworks] adding luatex and lualatex to the typesetting menu

Stefan Löffler st.loeffler at gmail.com
Thu Jul 14 17:02:57 CEST 2011


On 2011-07-13 21:38, Arno Trautmann wrote:
>>> 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.
> No, superseding will definitely not happen in the next years.
> Maybe a possible improvement would be to offer some kind of drop-down
> menu that separates engines from formats. So one could take LaTeX or
> plain or ConTeXt and then choose between pdf, dvi, lua, dvilua, /or/
> Mk II, Mk IV, …

I think that's an excellent idea. First, because it implicitly teaches
users that distinction from the very beginning, and second because it
gets some order into the current chaos on that dropdown list.
Unfortunately, there are some caveats as well. First, it's not easy to
implement with the current approach/widgets, and second we need to take
care to maintain compatibility with TeXShop and older versions of Tw
(that might be using a "%!TeX program=" modline).
Anyway, it would be great if you could post a feature request for this
on GC.

>> 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)?
> I'm not sure, but LuaTeX should be in every minimal variant. However,
> it is the designated pdfTeX successor, so it has some kind of a
> special role.

OK, unless someone else has good reasons not to (and usually I'm the
most cautious/pessimistic on this list ;)), let's add it to the default
engines (seeing that it seems to be the future of TeX?). So, next
question, what is the correct way of calling Lua(La)TeX (including the
SyncTeX option, of course)? And are there any platform-specific
differences that would need to be taken into account?

>> 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 ;).
> Maybe this document might help a bit – that's exactly the reason I
> started it for:
> https://github.com/alt/tex-overview/blob/master/tex-overview.pdf
> (click on “View Raw”)
> For ConTeXt, it is quite easy, as Mk IV (the latest version) only uses
> LuaTeX.

Thanks, this is great! I actually never knew there were that many
engines and formats out there... ;).


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