[OS X TeX] Plain TeX and OS X [slightly OT]

Peter Erwin erwin at ll.iac.es
Tue Jul 30 02:10:41 CEST 2002

William Adams said:
>Bruno said:
>>- I was told (but never verified, as I don't have it) that Adobe
>>InDesign achieves about the same typesetting performances as TeX/LaTeX,
>>and even that it uses the TeX engine (or some part of it, maybe for
>>hyphenation) internally.
>One Adobe rep. with whom I've corresponded claimed that the ``HZ''
>algorithm (from URW, which is a super-set of TeX's) ID uses as its
>``multi-line composer'' has been completely re-written---but the
>under-lying algorithm doesn't seem to've changed, so I think that's
>rather disingenuous of them.

In an interview with Advogato (http://www.advogato.org/article/28.html),
Donald Knuth said that he had been told, both by "friends [who] found this
in the documentation" and by some of the InDesign programmers he talked
with at a meeting, that InDesign did indeed implement the TeX line-
breaking algorithm.

Han The Thanh (one of the designers of pdftex) has a discussion
of this in his Ph.D. thesis, which was reprinted in an edition of TUGboat
(the TeX User's Group irregular journal; it's also available inPDF format
here: http://www.fi.muni.cz/~thanh/download/thesis.pdf).  I don't have it
with me here, but I'm pretty sure he confirmed that InDesign uses Knuth's
algorithm, along with some extras from the Hermann Zapf et al. work at URW
(this includes things like hanging punctuation).

>ID is lacking in long document features, and there's no internal
>equation editor as-of-yet (this would be solved for us, if it just used
>Services so that EquationService.app would work in it). Also, the UI is
>typical Adobe, so I for one can't stand it.
>>So again, this would make, if it's actually
>>true, TeX/LaTeX less indispensable (but still infinitely less expensive).
>Before you say that, take a tour of a Word tech support group to listen
>to the complaints / short-comings / difficulties involved in using Word
>for much beyond letters, or find out how people're doing indexing &c. in ID.

For what it's worth, the preferred (and I think most popular) format for
submissions to the Los Alamos Preprint archive (arXiv.org), which is the
default preprint archive for much of physics, at least some math, and pretty
much all of astrophysics, is TeX/LaTeX.  You can request the original
TeX/LaTeX file(s) (plus figures, if any), or PostScript or PDF; the latter are
generated by Perl scripts from the TeX files.  They do accept submissions in
HTML, PDF or Mathematica notebooks, though in my experience these are rare;
they don't accept anything in Word.

    -- Peter
Peter Erwin                   Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias
erwin at ll.iac.es               C/ Via Lactea s/n
tel. +34 922 605 244          38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
fax  +34 922 605 210          http://www.iac.es/galeria/erwin

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