[luatex] Hyphenation in plain TeX

Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard mpg at elzevir.fr
Fri Oct 8 12:54:36 CEST 2010

Le 08/10/2010 09:15, Taco Hoekwater a écrit :
> At the lowest level, you have to switch \language before loading the
> patterns. But (question for someone else) I thought luatex-plain has a
> builtin facility for loading multiple patterns ?
Actually, (in TeX Live at least) every Plain format using any TeX engine execpt
the original TeX82 has such a builtin facility, provided by etex.src. It means
the following command:
- etex, pdfetex, pdftex,
- xetex,
- luatex, dviluatex.

>From the user point of view, everything works exactly the same way for all these
formats. There is no difference at all in the macros available at runtime, nor
in the result of executing them.

The only thing specific to luatex here is a few implementation details. The only
user-visible difference is that, since TL 2010, the loading time of the luatex
format is much shorter that it used to be in TL 2009.

To be clear, there is no user-level feature (as opposed to implementation
tweaks) specific to luatex regarding hyphenation right now, in Plain-based
format. Btw, this is also true for LaTeX-based formats.

Of course there are plans to change this in the future by providing user macros
allowing to take advantage of luatex dynamic pattern loading abilities in the
existing frameworks (etex.src for Plain-based formats, babel for LaTeX-based


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