[XeTeX] Request for Participation (RFP)

Grzegorz Murzynowski natror at o2.pl
Thu Dec 4 16:47:23 CET 2008

Neaale Hirsh pisze:
> once per document; we adjust the fonts or font style for
> captions, math, headings, etc. In XeTeX and XeLaTeX, we
> stumble around until things work, more or less:
> \font\"Monaco" at 12 pt                % XeTeX only
Probably it should be
\font\A="Monaco" at 12 pt
And it's _not_ Plain XeTeX only. But why to write a hundred lines like
this when LaTeX/fontspec & documentclass has already done that for you?

What kind of beginner do you mind: is that a beginner who wants to have 
their text typeset anyhow or is that a “beginner” who wants to prepare a 
book for printing and set all the layouts?

> The above approaches are not compared in the existing
> fontspec user manual, of course, because the readers
> don't need it. But I feel certain that the next ex-word-
> processor (XWP) person like me will cross the same
> territory and he or she will not find much help in the
> existing user manual. It wasn't written for XWPs.
Again, what kind of XWP do you have in mind? If they are used to 
WYSIWYG, why should they learn low-lewel (Plain) XeTeX commands not just 
  high(er) level LaTeX/fontspec's?

> Collaboration Model
> This ML is quite handy for announcing progress and
> making drafts available for comment. The actual business
> of getting organized and having dialogues about the
> topics will be done via ordinary email. That's the
> collaboration model I'm used to.

If you're not discouraged by my remarks as far, you can put my email 
address to the mailing list of the project.
I probably have not much time to give to your project but probably I can 
be helpful sometimes since I have some experience in teaching LaTeX the 
total beginners used to M$ Word.

> Our Friends, xltxtra and xunicode
> These packages are natural to you, but they're not natural to
> a beginner who chooses one set of problems at a time.
> Feel free to invoke these packages in (say) 20% of your
> examples. We'll cover the packages eventually, but we need
> a success first.
I think a beginner who migrates from a WYSIWYG to LaTeX should learn to 
begin their documents with
that loads all three XeLaTeX basics. Since a XWPs has no bad habbits or 
Plain habbits, they should learn a good XeLaTeX habbit from the very 
beginning. SO my opinion is xunicode and xltxtra should be used all the 
time. (In fact, I use them all the time and don't know what exactly they 

> If you're interested, send me your name and I'll send you
> version 1 of the scope of the manual. Your
> contributions will make up version 2. Then a couple of
> drafts will follow with requests for comment.
> Fontspec is a small package from the user's point of view.

We have at least two kinds of (La)TeX users and I'm not quite clear 
which one you have in mind:

In my opinion
fontspec should be considered a basic and fundamentally important 
package from the point of view of a typesetter/typographer user.

On the other hand, if we are talking of a user who just wants to write 
their article to a journal, they should not be interested in fontspec at 
all (the journal's document class should provide all the font settings), 
they don't even has to know about XeTeX.

> A manual could be produced in a couple of months if people
> want it.

My name is Grzegorz Murzynowski, my email address: natror (ape sign) o2 
(decimal point) pl (as the sender of this post)
and you can call me Natror for short.


Grzegorz Murzynowski (Natror).

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