[XeTeX] Status of XeTeX on non-MacOSX platforms?
stoledo at tau.ac.il
Sat Jul 30 17:32:08 CEST 2005
I would like to ask about the prospects/plans/status of XeTeX for
platforms other than MacOS X.
I read carefully the paper on XeTeX for IUC27, and I seems to me that
MacOS specific code is used in only 3 places in XeTeX:
1. In handling ATSUI fonts and words typeset in these fonts,
2. XeTeX calls the ATSUI bidirectional algorithm.
3. XeTeX uses a MacOS-specific API to render the document into a PDF file
I think that item (1) can simply be dropped from non-MacOS builds, and
item (2) can probably be replaced by either ICU (I think it includes a
version of the algorithm) or freebidi, a GPL library implementing the
Item (3) is probably the most difficult to replace, mostly because of
the need to subset and download OpenType fonts (both TTF and OTF) in the
PDF file. Up to this issue, the PDF generation can probably use the
I am not suggesting that any of this is easy. Even just building the
code with all the MacOS-specific #ifdef'ed away might be difficult.
But I would like to see this happen (I think many other users would
too), and I would be happy to help. I have experience in adding
font-downloading support to free software (I added TTF/PFB font
downloading and subsetting to Qt, I added OTF downloading to iText, and
students working under my supervision added OTF subsetting to iText; Qt
is C++ code and iText is Java).
I would like to suggest that a good way to move this forward is to
separate the system issues from the coding issues. That is, the first
step should be to create a platform-independent source tree that builds
the functional program on MacOS but a crippled version without the MacOS
code on other platforms. Then the missing parts should be defined,
either in terms of an API, or just in terms of writing replacement to
the delete-MacOS code. Then people with specific expertise can try to
help by writing the missing code.
Regards, Sivan Toledo, Tel-Aviv University
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