[luatex] Luatex primitive names

Heiko Oberdiek oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de
Wed Mar 11 10:44:04 CET 2009

On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 09:29:50AM +0100, Hans Hagen wrote:

> Heiko Oberdiek wrote:

> >\directlua{...} generates an error message for older versions,
> >because it requires a number for the lua state.
> >In newer versions the number shouldn't be given, because it
> >would cause a deprecation warning -- users always complain
> >about warnings. Thus the version information is already
> >needed at TeX level before switching to Lua.
> we're talking of version 0.40 and onwards and the new syntax will be in 0.40
> we don't care about < 0.40 and macro package support before 0.40

LuaTeX 0.25 is part of TL 2008, thus it will be significantly present
some time, probably years, if not decades.
  Thus my concern is that using the syntax of version 0.40
will generate a low level error message, that cannot be understood
by the "normal" user, forcing him to ask in newsgroups and
mailing lists or even go away from LuaTeX.

> also, the syntax will not change that much as we will likely use the 
> number as alternative for the name directive (index in array then) so 
> that the syntax wil become
> \dirextlua
>   [name {error message string}]
>   [optional number refering to error number string in table]

The plans for another change in syntax support the wish of
having \luatexversion at start time.

> >* Version information for each feature/primitive, when
> >  it was introduced and when changes occur.
> at some point we will declare primitives/features stable (will happen 
> stepwise) and the manual will mention it for each (class of) primitives

Good. My wish would be that the version is remembered in the manual,
when the (class of) primitives has become stable.

Yours sincerely
  Heiko <oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de>

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