[XeTeX] Plans for xdv2pdf

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Fri Apr 13 10:59:42 CEST 2007

Now that XeTeX has been made cross-platform, and that the cross- 
platform DVI-to-PDF driver dvipdfmx has been modified to become the  
XDVI-to-PDF driver xdvipdfmx (so that it support XeTeX) , I'm  
wondering what will become of XeTeX's original Mac-OS-X-specific XDVI- 
to-PDF driver xdv2pdf.

Jonathan Kew has once said (I don't remember exactly where) that his  
developments effort would focus on xdvipdfmx temporarily. His recent  
interview at TUG's interview corner <http://www.tug.org/interviews/ 
interview-files/jonathan-kew.html> makes clearly the cross-platform  
nature of XeTeX the focus of future developement. I'm thinking in  
particular at the extract:

> When I began these experiments in integrating TeX as a page  
> formatting system with existing libraries for font handling,  
> international text, and glyph-level typography, the facilities  
> available in the Mac operating system were significantly ahead of  
> those on Windows — and Linux wasn’t even in the picture as a  
> desktop environment. I was aiming to leverage the available tools  
> to provide maximum functionality for a minimum amount of effort,  
> and so I used Apple’s text and graphics technologies wherever  
> possible.
> Over the years, the picture has of course changed, and there are  
> excellent libraries for international text layout on all the major  
> platforms. And so once XeTeX was functional and stable, I began to  
> look at how it could be made cross-platform by replacing the Apple-  
> proprietary components used with open-source alternatives. This  
> meant supporting OpenType fonts through the ICU layout library, and  
> replacing the original PDF output driver (based heavily on the Mac  
> OS X graphics system) with an extended version of the existing  
> dvipdfmx, among other changes. But as far as possible, I have tried  
> to maintain the simplicity of use that I think made XeTeX  
> attractive to its early adopters when the first Mac-only version  
> appeared.

I tend to interpret this as an indication that xdv2pdf should be  
considered deprecated, namely still supported but no longer  
developed, and that xdvipdfmx has now replaced it. That would imply  
that xdvipdmfx will be extended further to offer on Mac OS X the  
facilities currently available only through xdv2pdf (namely, the  
handling of AAT fonts through ATSUI, and the handling of graphics  
through Quartz).

Is that the case? Or will xdv2pdf and xdvipdfmx continue to co-exist  
on the Mac?

That's not really a fundamental issue, I was just wondering what the  
plans were.

Bruno Voisin

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