[XeTeX] 64.bit XeTex was::Re: Trying to build microtype-aware xetex

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 20:12:21 CEST 2011

On Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 12:47 PM, Richard Koch <koch at math.uoregon.edu> wrote:
> Folks,
> I read lots of messages on the XeTeX and TeX on OS X mailing lists
> of the form "I'm in the middle of a project using XeTeX; how do I do ….?" This, plus
> information from personal contacts, convinces me that XeTeX is heavily
> used by people with real work to be done.

Correct.  Although xetex started out as a mac project, it is now being used on
linux and Windows (and, at one time, on SGI IRIX64).

I assume that some fraction of xetex users really need things they get from
ATSUI that don't work on other platforms, but the way forward may be to
fix problems in the support libs used on other platforms but potentially
available to mac users as well, and/or finish luatex.

> XeTeX runs fine on Lion, and other Macintosh systems. The minor
> problem, as others have pointed out, is that it uses the ATSUI font libraries
> rather than Core Text. When Apple enabled 64 bit GUI applications in
> Leopard at the end of 2007, they didn't convert ATSUI to 64 bits, so
> XeTeX is a 32 bit application on the Mac.
> When we introduced 64 bit versions of TeX apps in MacTeX, timing tests showed
> that the speed increase with 64 bits was minor. For that reason, adding those
> 64 bit versions was mildly controversial, and the need to compile XeTeX
> in 64 bits isn't urgent.
> Having said all of that, it would be wonderful if someone would take on the
> task of converting the Macintosh portions of XeTeX from ATSUI to Core Text,
> since it would remove the worry that Apple (at some distant time) would
> remove the 32 bit ATSUI Library from the system, and would allow us to compile
> all of TeX Live in 64 bits.

It might be better to put energy into other projects (luatex and supporting
libraries).  If x86_64 xetex is needed, simply follow macports and
compile for x86_64 using open source libraries.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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