[XeTeX] Status of XeTeX on non-MacOSX platforms?

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Sat Jul 30 20:31:22 CEST 2005

Sivan Toledo wrote:

> Hi,
> 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 
> algorithm.
> 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 pdfTeX generator.
> 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.
FYI: At the practex conference Jonathan told the autience that he wanted to look into porting. One of the things that came up at that time was that the dvi output should become dvipdfmx compatible. 


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