[XeTeX] The future of XeTeX

Keith J. Schultz keithjschultz at web.de
Wed Aug 1 17:24:36 CEST 2012

Hi Ulrike,

Am 01.08.2012 um 12:13 schrieb Ulrike Fischer <news3 at nililand.de>:

> Am Wed, 1 Aug 2012 09:32:16 +0200 schrieb Keith J. Schultz:
>> 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. 
	That is probaly teh biggest turn off to LuaTeX.
	They should some people in as far as coding is concerned.
	The missing documentation is something I would call a cardinal
> (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.) 
	You have my vote, though I do not need them. Ignorance of
	the need for scripts or advance is one of the reasons we are
	in the TeX-mess we have. Knuth can no be blamed. Back then
	you programmed differently. Today, everything should be
	modular and extensible. 
>> 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.
	Please, do not get me wrong. I am not talking about the fonts!
	Just that if there is no necessity not to use unicode, unicode should


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