[luatex] Luatex tutorial

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Thu Aug 30 02:34:28 CEST 2012

On 2012-08-29 at 22:57:24 +0200, Mikoláš Štrajt wrote:

 > Thanks for posting all answers.
 > As far as I understand: TeX is for the document part, Lua is for
 > the thinking and computing (it's better in general programming than
 > TeX).

Exactly.  There are (at least) two ways to use Lua:

  1. Access and modify TeX's internal data structures.

  2. Use Lua as a pre-processor.

Modifying TeX's internal structures requires an enormous amount of
knowledge about TeX itself.  This is what Paul Isambert described in
his TUGboat articles.

The second case is much easier because you don't have to deal with
TeX's internals.  Lua can be helpful here because general programming
is not very easy in TeX and especially arithmetic is a pain.

In order to convince TeX users to look into LuaTeX, I created a tiny
LuaLaTeX file which demonstrates the use of Lua as a pre-processor.


Maybe this is a good starting point.

 > So if I want to create documents I need firstly know bit of TeX
 > (plain or LaTeX) and later I can made some improvements by Lua.

In order to use TeX, you have to be familiar with either plain, LaTeX,
or ConTeXt.  These are TeX macro packages sitting on top of TeX (the
program).  If you want to improve TeX (the program) with Lua, you have
to know much more.

 > Ough: Wild bug appeared while I was playing:
 > "
 > I can't find file luatex.fmt.
 > "
 > How to build one?

Which OS / TeX distribution / version?


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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