[pdftex] SVG and pdftex.

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Thu Nov 5 14:35:51 CET 2009

On Tuesday 03 November 2009 17:05:41 Jim Diamond wrote:
> 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 
> > jim seemed to suggest that "they ought to write it", without 
> > 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 
> > program complex macro constructs.
> Yes, quite true.  But aside from being good "plain" 
> understanding the Zen of the microtypography extensions 
would (I
> imagine) be necessary.  And as someone who has not yet tried 
> 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 
> needed.
> > the latex microtype package arose (i assume) because robert 
> > realised that the earlier pdfcprot wasn't really "up to it".  
> > 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 
> > 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 
> there is any point in submitting things, since there are likely to 
> very few people interested.  And maybe that is the big problem.
> Thanks for your thoughts.
> 				Jim

I am of the questionable few. I use pdftex plus eplain plus 
makeindex for almost all my work. And I don't consult often with 
comp.text.tex newsgroup because of the paucity of posters who 
deal with plain tex, plain pdftex and/or eplain.tex. There are 
mailing lists (like this one) that are more pdftex friendly.   

I asked the original question but the conversation has veered 
toward the new kid on the block, luatex.  Hans H. suggests that 
most pdftex commands will work OK with luatex.  There are three 
1. Those that work the same.
2. Those that no longer work but have a replacement command or 
commands, or macro files that must be added. 
3. Those that no longer work at all, at least for now. 

I can I suppose derive these by compiling first with pdftex and 
then with luatex.  

It would be useful if there were a listing of each category. 

I just ran a test by compiling a novel first with pdftex and then 
with luatex. The page count was the same and the byte count for 
luatex slightly less.  Protrusion worked with the pdftex run but not 
with the luatex run.

John Culleton
"Create Book Covers with Scribus"

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