[luatex] The LuaTeXbook
st_philipp at yahoo.de
Sun Jan 2 21:18:29 CET 2011
Am 02.01.2011 um 19:38 schrieb site4000 at free.fr:
> If I want to be a high level user/wizard/professional of TeX, I can buy the TeXbook and learn everything in it and experiment a lot. Here is a very interesting but heavy work to do.
> If I want to be a high level user of PDFTeX, I'll have to be a wizard of TeX and a professional of eTeX : Very heavy work
> If I want to be a high level user of LuaTeX, I'll have to be a wizard of PDFTeX, Lua, Omega, Aleph,... : Very very heavy work.
> So if I want to be a high level user of LuaTeX, I have to learn everything about the thirty years old TeX history.
> When LuaTeX will stable enough (LuaTeX v2.0 ???), is it on the roadmap to write a "LuaTeXbook" just
> like D.E. Knuth did in 1983 ? The idea would be to explain completely the functionalities of LuaTeX as if nothing had never existed before, it would be the opportunity to
> give users a new start in the world of TeX who allows to understand this programming langage (LuaTeX, not TeX) without having to look for all pieces of the puzzle.
> Of course, this "LuaTeXbook" would deal with Lua (and why not lua libraries, fontforge...) but we must bear in mind that the TeX aspect matters most.
> This book would be a very heavy project but it would be a very useful tool.
Such an project would indeed be desirable, but, as you already said, it would be lots of work. For now, I think you can get very far with a bit less heavy work:
1. TeX: The TeXbook was written for users of plain TeX, or for those that want to understand every detail. For TeX programming knowledge, TeX by Topic is more than sufficient, and very well and succinctly written. Even in this book, you don't have to read every detail; for starting, the chapters 1–4, 6–8, 10–13, 32, 33, 36 should suffice.
2. eTeX: The manual is not that long, and many sections can be skipped. I think the most important sections are 3.3, 3.5, 3.7, 3.12, 5.
3. pdfTeX: Again, most parts of the manual are not totally relevant for programming. Sections 7.3, 7.4, 7.15, 7.16, 7.21 seem to be the most important at first sight.
4. Lua: Lots of good material is available, most notably Roberto Ierusalimschy's book Programming in Lua and the Lua reference.
5. XeTeX: should not be required, but the unofficial reference is sometimes a bit more detailed than the LuaTeX manual.
6. After that, you should be able to read the LuaTeX manual without problems.
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