[pdftex] SVG and pdftex.

Jim Diamond Jim.Diamond at acadiau.ca
Tue Nov 3 23:05:41 CET 2009

On Tue, Nov  3, 2009 at 21:01 (+0000), Robin Fairbairns wrote:

> Hans Hagen <pragma at wxs.nl> wrote:

>> Jim Diamond wrote:

>>> Are there any plans afoot to facilitate the use of microtypography in
>>> luatex for plain tex users?

>> as plain is a 'frozen' format with a fixed font subsystem adding micro
>> typography to it would render it non-plain

> i don't think that's really a barrier.

> what _is_ a barrier is the lack of plain programmers.
In a sense.  I am willing to bet that people who are capable of
creating (complex?) latex packages need to know enough of "tex the
program" that they could easily do "plain tex" as well.  Of course, I
can understand them not being motivated to do non-latex things.

> jim seemed to suggest that "they ought to write it", without specifying
> who "they" might be.
I clarified that a bit in my second message, as you may have seen by now.
> they would of course be discerning plain users who were able to
> program complex macro constructs.
Yes, quite true.  But aside from being good "plain" programmers,
understanding the Zen of the microtypography extensions would (I
imagine) be necessary.  And as someone who has not yet tried out
luatex (well, just one or two trivial runs to see what would happen) I
am not sure whether or not any expertise in (specifically) luatex is

> the latex microtype package arose (i assume) because robert schlicht
> realised that the earlier pdfcprot wasn't really "up to it".  things
> like that don't happen in a community that isn't in the habit of sharing
> macro packages.

> my impression, as an archivist, is that there are rather few plain
> programmers who feel the value of sharing stuff.  (in the past year, i
> think we've had *one* new plain package submitted to ctan, by comparison
> with dozens of new latex packages, and quite a lot of context ones --
> remember that ctan isn't a primary source for context stuff.)

> so, afaict, plain users who want new features are more-or-less "on their
> own".

> so ... good luck, jim!  (and submit it to ctan, when you're done, so as
> to save the rest of them the bother.)
Well, if I come up with something useful I will share.

Given the traffic on comp.text.tex is 99% (give or take)
latex-specific, perhaps the few(?) of us who use plain tex don't feel
there is any point in submitting things, since there are likely to be
very few people interested.  And maybe that is the big problem.

Thanks for your thoughts.


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