[XeTeX] OT?: Interesting? post about LuaTeX on usenet:comp.text.tex

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Thu Aug 10 18:31:50 CEST 2006

William Adams wrote:
> On Aug 10, 2006, at 11:36 AM, Musa Furber wrote:
>> Does LuaTeX today run on more than XeTeX's three platforms well
>> enough to be used for production work?
> Given that, ``This Project Hs Not Released Any Files'', no.   
> Presumably it will run on all platforms which pdftex is available for.
i have no time for much discussion now: (and i don't read or wanna read 
usenet tex lists)

- luatex started as an experiment en was presented/discussed at a couple 
of tex conferences;
- it's done by a subset of the pdftex dev team and so it's 's an 
experimental branch of pdftex
- the first major release will be called metatex which will then be the 
dev version
- next year (or so) the first releases show up
- in the end, the stabel releas will become pdftex 2.0 with pdftex < 2 
being frozen in terms of extensions (not in terms of fixes)
- it runs on all platforms (since there is a major overhaul being done 
now, it does not run anywhere -)
- new functionality as well as compatibility issues will be tested in 
the oriental tex project (will be presented at tug 2006)

> I thought the commenting on XeTeX was kind of strange and off-key,  
> hence my mention of it here.
i dunno about that; the luatex people know about xetex and jonathan knows about luatex; metatex will merge pdftex, implement pending ideas in the pdftex team, parts of aleph, lua scripting, open type, unicode, more math stuff, and probably runtime metapost support + a bit more); while xetex uses libraries, metatex will use methods built into tex (more complex from the perspective of most user but probably also more suiting demands of others)

the development is mostly done by taco hoekwater as part of the oriental tex project; since pdftex is the de facto tex engine on tex live, the team deliberately keeps a low profile - no false promisses (on the schedule), priority on pdftex bug fixes, etc etc.  

when, how and if those projects will ever merge into one tex ... we'll see (neither of us sees a reason to cripple the xetex and/or pdftex dev by yet another development and it's fun to have two fresh tex's around - both following a slightly different approach andmaybe a different audience but both usable) 

side note: there is no competition with any other branch of tex (xetex, omega 2, ...) involved, just evolution of pdftex 

also, some parts of this spin off can be retrofitted into xetex (and vise versa) which is good for shared macro development 


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