[XeTeX] xetex vs. pages

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Thu Nov 17 00:46:45 CET 2005

On Nov 16, 2005, at 10:27 AM, Scott Murman wrote:

> I'd like to get opinions on xetex and pages, as both seem to fit in  
> the same niche (unicode, mac-specific).   here's some thoughts just  
> to get things started.  i maybe misunderstanding some things, but  
> that's kinda the point of asking questions, neh?  i'm looking  
> slightly forward w/ pages here, assuming that iwork '06 has  
> improvements, some some of spreadsheet, etc.
> - xetex is compiled, pages is interpreted on-the-fly (c vs. perl).
> - xetex source files can easily be ported to other platforms by  
> disabling the xetex-specific commands. currently, pages must port  
> through a 3rd-party app, such as MS Word, however may be able to  
> retain the unicode fonts (never tried myself).  pages->rtf->latex  
> is possible, but frightening.
> - pages is gui-driven, and allows easy placement of floats, etc.,  
> but still lacks some basic functionality such as tracking  
> references, indexes, etc.   xetex inherits a long legacy of latex  
> code, but will never be a mature page layout tool.
> - math in xetex is flexible and efficient for users familiar with  
> the syntax.  this should continue into the future as unicode, XML,  
> and math evolve.  equations in pages are currently painful at best,  
> and may never move beyond the inefficient gui-driven, drag-drop  
> interface that seems standard (framemaker, word, etc.)
> - pages is built directly into the os x framework, so moving data  
> between email, spreadsheet, report will be seamless.  xetex for the  
> most part is stand-alone.
> -SM-


One more thing ---

XeTeX (and TeX in general) will break your paragraphs into beautiful  
lines while Pages will always look much uglier. The only piece of  
software that seems to come even close to TeX's ability to make  
beautiful typography is InDesign which, I believe, has lifted at  
least some of TeX's algorithms.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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