[tex-live] Having a .fmt for different engines

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Fri Jan 5 20:26:31 CET 2007

Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
>>>>>> "Gerben" == Gerben Wierda <Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl> writes:
>   >> I also do not see a great benefit.  It will be obsolete in two
>   >> years anyway.
>   > Why?
> Because we'll hopefully have less engines then.  I expect that next
> year aleph will be obsolete and in two years pdftex and xetex will be
> merged. 
aleph is indeed becoming obsolete (bith due to xetex and luatex)

about a merge ... xetex follows a library approach while luatex extends the tex machinery and stays independent of libraries; once we have an extendable tex (luatex), we can look into ways to implement xetex features  by means of callbacks (overloads and such, without adding the burden of libraries by default; just like we can replace kpse with alternative implementations), but two years is probably a bit optimistics. I can even imagine that luatex and xetex each fill their niche but share code that is not a burden for either of them. 

and even then, expect multiple engines to be around; take pdftex: version 1+ will be around and debugged forever, and a stable luatex will become pdftex 2+, alongside luatex as development branch which makes 3 engines already. One reason is that we cannot be sure that pdftex 2 is fully backward compatible so we need a knuthian tex around. 


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