[XeTeX] The future of XeTeX

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Wed Aug 1 12:30:52 CEST 2012

2012/8/1 Ulrike Fischer <news3 at nililand.de>:
> Am Wed, 1 Aug 2012 09:32:16 +0200 schrieb Keith J. Schultz:
>> LuaTeX has a very small developer base and their goal is very
>> high. a long needed rewrite of TeX. That is a complex task.
>> From the simple user side. LuaTeX is about as easy as it gets. For
>> most purpose I can teach you all you need to know how to use Lua
>> for TeX in 2 hours!
> The problem are the people inbetween: The people who should develop
> the code needed on top of the binary. As you could see in this
> discussion the core problem currently is the handling of (open type)
> fonts. And while the fontloader lua code in context (the source of
> luaotfload) is quite advanced, it is undocumentated, has no sensible
> api, and can change all the time in unexpected ways. Nobody outside
> the context team can actually work on it and e.g add support for
> scripts or correct bugs.
> (As an aside I think that one should not only put pressure on
> xetex/luatex/open type engines to support all sorts of open type
> features and scripts but also on some scripts to adapt a bit to the
> computer age.)
Do you mean it? Will people in India be forced to learn one
orthography in order to read the texts found everywhere in the
streets, in books, supported by MS Office, OpenOffice, LibreOffice,
all modern web browsers and another orthography for luatex? And how
about typesetting ancient text? Do you suggest to use the same
approach as the Indian newspapers Musulman? The editors were not
satisfied with the typographical quality of the Urdu text therefore
the newspapers are handwritten.
>> It's price for unicode support and using fontspec. But,
>> those ancient packages using encodings should be a thing of the
>> past, IMHO.
> Well in case of chess fonts they are not "a thing of the past". Not
> because of some deficiency of luatex or xetex but because most
> glyphs used e.g. by chessboards are not in unicode. You need some
> local encoding to access them in a standarized way, and this means
> you need the ability to reencode fonts. This should be possible with
> luatex (and is in my eyes one of the advantage compared to xetex)
> but can't be used due to the unclear state of the font loader.
> --
> Ulrike Fischer
> http://www.troubleshooting-tex.de/
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Zdeněk Wagner

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