# [luatex] \font primitive does not read otf file

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sun Dec 9 05:54:41 CET 2012

On 2012-12-07 at 07:48:29 +0100, Petr Olsak wrote:

> > Which somehow makes it less hakish? The proper characters are ...
> > just use them. It is 2012 after all, the 7-bit constrains that
> > Knuth had 30 years ago no longer exist.
>
> In 2012, on my keyboard, I am unable to find the characters you
> mentioned.
>
> This Knuth's message from 30 years ago is still applicable
> today. It is ergonomic, visible, robust and understandable. You can
> use real alpha instead of \alpha etc., but you need to use some
> mouse activies or some invisible editor-dependent shorthands. This
> is demonstration of the unanderstanding of the principles of
> TeX. If you insist on the usage of these real characters in TeX
> (and derivatives), you are on your own.  This will work if UTF8
> input is proper configured. But this is no reason of refusing the
> good principles from 30 years ago.

Hi Petr,
as long as you write in Czech and English only, this is true.  But I,
for instance, don't have Czech characters on my keyboard.  The
solution is to select a proper input method.  Input methods are
provided by operating systems and some text editors.

Emacs provides input methods for many languages, and one called TeX.
When I select the latter, I can type \alpha and see α on screen.
Similarly, with vietnamese-viqr I can type Ha No^.i and see Hà Nội on
screen.  My Chinese colleagues use input method chinese-py (pinyin)
and happily write Chinese.  They don't have many alternatives anyway
because their keyboards don't have more keys than ours.

What Knuth did was very advanced 30 years ago.  But it has a lot of
drawbacks which can be avoided easily nowadays with XeTeX and LuaTeX.

What the new engines offer is that one can write a text in a readable
form (Hà Nội instaed of H\a N\d\ocircumflex i).  This is what people
expect nowdays.  If you want to preserve the old behavior, you can
provide macros like \def\alpha{α} after all.

Regards,
Reinhard

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Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
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