[XeTeX] XeTeX in lshort

Philipp Stephani st_philipp at yahoo.de
Sat Oct 2 22:33:55 CEST 2010

Am 02.10.2010 um 21:22 schrieb Alan Munn:

> On Oct 2, 2010, at 2:47 PM, Philipp Stephani wrote:
>> Am 30.09.2010 um 09:36 schrieb Tobias Schoel:
>>> Hi,
>>> there are three kinds of people who should learn TeX&Co:
>>> - those who absolutely need TeX, because no other system let's them produce the documents they have to (all this linguistis and co. [don't take offense, I have no idea of the professions around this topic])
>> Please elaborate on why they should use TeX. Personally I think that TeX is quite inappropriate for linguistics.
> I'm not sure that this discussion should really continue, but what do you know about linguistics that would give you such an opinion?  LaTeX is very appropriate for linguistics, and many working linguists are using it (not to mention that it is used to typeset various linguistics journals.)  As I mentioned in a previous message it provides  many concrete advantages: automatic numbering/referencing of linguistic examples, automatic aligning of foreign language words/translations, automatic syntactic tree drawing; a full range of logic symbols, easy access to phonetic fonts etc., not to mention other basic academic requirements such as citations and bibliographies.  Doing most of this in Word is either not trivial or not possible.

OK, that are valid reasons, thanks for the information.

>>> - those who can use other systems but who would have an enourmous advantage in time and effort using TeX (mathematicians, other scientist, typographers of some kind [see above], ...)
>> Again, why do they have an advantage of using TeX?
>> People who need lots of mathematics should preferably use Word because it offers the highest quality of math typesetting.
> Which Word have *you* been using?  Even if the latest version of Word for Windows (not Mac) offers improved math typesetting (which is debatable), it any previous version of Word certainly doesn't.

Please see Ulrik Vieth's article about OpenType Math:

"Ironically, it was left to Microsoft to develop a de facto standard for OpenType math font information and to provide the first reference implementation of a full-featured OpenType math font."
"Ironically, it was left to Microsoft to develop the first system to offer support for Unicode math. When Microsoft introduced support for math typesetting in Office 2007 [1, 2], they extended the OpenType font format and commissioned the design of Cambria Math [3] as a reference implementation of a full-featured OpenType math font."
"Fortunately for us, Microsoft was smart enough to borrow from the best examples of math typesetting technology, thus many concepts of OpenType math are not only derived from the model of TEX, but also go beyond TEX and introduce extensions or generalizations of familiar concepts."
"Most importantly, support for OpenType math has already been implemented or is currently being implemented in the new TEX engines, thus adopting OpenType math for the development of the much- needed Unicode math support for Latin Modern and TEX Gyre obviously seems to be a most promising choice of technology."

A bit later:
"While XTEEX has retained TEX’s original math typesetting engine and uses an internal mapping to set up \fontdimen parameters from OpenType parameters [10], LuaTEX has introduced an extension of TEX’s math typesetting engine [11], which will allow it to take full advantage of most of the additional OpenType parameters."
In my interpretation of that paragraph, the LuaTeX implementation of OpenType Math is in principle more advanced than the XeTeX one and comes closer to Word. But even with the newest ConTeXt from TeX Live 2010 there are a few issues concerning Unicode math (e.g. accent placement). XeTeX seems to work fine, but in the light of the cited paragraph, some of Word's more advanced features might be missing (but I'm not competent enough to judge that). That's why I say that Microsoft Word is the current gold standard when it comes to math typesetting (at least I'm unaware of more advanced systems). Indeed I've already seen questions in LaTeX forums on how to achieve Word's math typesetting quality in LaTeX.

More information about the XeTeX mailing list