# [luatex] ini files for TL 2009

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Fri Apr 17 23:53:31 CEST 2009

Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard wrote:
> Karl Berry a écrit :
>>     > Can I object, please? Why pretend that luatex is nothing more than
>>     > pdftex?
>>
>> I agree.  Sorry, I didn't realize the implication.
>>
> Now, my turn to object. I thought the whole point of hiding primitives in INI
> mode and providing tex.enableprimitive() with the ability to activate primitive
> with a prefix, was to be able not to activate them and let the macro package decide.

I thought the goal was to have a configurable name prefix, but that is
not so important: it is indeed now possible to not activate primitives
at all.

Whether doing it that way is wise, I am not so sure about. It seems to
me that stating right now that all luatex primitives will start with the
prefix "LuaTeX" will be an easier thing to control than later having to
deal with the various packages each enabling the primitives they need
in the way they like. It would even be possible for two such packages
to create their own, private, prefix collision. Anyway ...

> Using a *lua*.ini file which activates only pdfetex primitives does exactly
> this: avoid name conflicts (since one can assume most packages to be compatible
> with pdftex, and otoh doing so allows to reuse existing .ini files). Then the
> user willing to have a full luatex experience loads sdome package such as
> luatextra for LaTeX.

if lualatex.ini is like that, that is fine by me. I don't often use
latex, and when I do, it is usually for a full-length article and
I have no objection at all to starting my input file with 20 lines
of core-functionality-not-actually-in-the-core in that case. :)
Ifluatex.sty etc. make perfect sense in such a setting.

But for practical debugging purposes, I want a low-level format that is
just "plain luatex", without needing an additional bunch of input files.
Minimal examples that need third-party packages are not easy to handle,
and experience has shown that I use lots of minimal example files while
tracking down bugs.

Of course I could have my own luatex.ini which is then not the same as
everybody else's luatex.fmt, but I would prefer not to have to do so,
and just have all primitives enabled without prefix in luatex.ini.

Doing so would probably not even harm existing documents, not even if
there were actual conflicts, because the issue surrounding primitive
names is almost entirely caused by the use of \(re)newcommand in latex
as opposed to \def in plain.

So my vote goes to having luatex.ini which enables all primitives
without prefix, loads plain.tex (or something in plain-style like
etex.src), and generates pdf. What is in lualatex.ini is not really
important to me, but I do believe that just these two formats,
bot creating pdf, is better than having having four formats.

Best wishes,
Taco

Best wishes,
Taco