[XeTeX] [luatex] Info on direction primitives/implementation

Joseph Wright joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk
Wed Dec 5 16:08:53 CET 2012

On 05/12/2012 12:14, Jonathan Kew wrote:
> On 5/12/12 11:56, Joseph Wright wrote:
>> Right, so some more thinking required here. The question is what is
>> sensible for new content: from what you say about TeX--XeT and bidi,
>> using pdfTeX/XeTeX is not currently to be recommended for RTL work
> IMO, this is an overly general and somewhat misleading "blanket
> statement". The TeX--XeT model has its limitations, certainly, but there
> are plenty of RTL documents for which it is perfectly adequate. Not
> every document requires mixed-direction math, or \special-based colour
> and hyperlinks wrapping across lines.
> Back when I was doing typesetting on behalf of authors and publishers in
> Pakistan and elsewhere, we used (TeX--XeT-based) XeTeX with considerable
> success and without feeling at all constrained by its bidi shortcomings.
> But then, we were producing "traditional" printed books full of text,
> not colourful, hyperlinked PDFs full of math.
> JK
Hello Jonathan,

It was not my intention to criticise XeTeX: I'm trying to get a feel for
the issues in RTL work and to understand what people who use the TeX
tools in this area find works (or does not). I'm also trying to work out
how the different engines work when you abstract to the package layer,
i.e. to what extend you can create macros which hide the complexities or
which do not enforce particular engine requirements. All of the input is
very useful.
Joseph Wright

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