[XeTeX] The future of XeTeX

Arthur Reutenauer arthur.reutenauer at normalesup.org
Wed Aug 1 19:12:20 CEST 2012

  Ha, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to notice :-)

  I just started porting Polyglossia to LuaTeX.  I didn't have time to
do much yet, but I expect it's going to be a matter of days till all the
gloss files work.  For the moment, all the languages relying on XeTeX's
inter-character token mechanism will fail, but I know how to implement
it in LuaTeX.  It has been discussed several times already and I don't
expect there will be major problems; although of course it will be
experimental at first.

  What's important to understand, though, is that this does not address
the underlying issues: LuaTeX still lacks a full OpenType shaping
engine, so that won't do anything for Indic scripts, scripts from
South-East Asia, Old Korean, nor other "complex" writing systems.
Arabic should work fine, but I'm not even sure about Syriac, for

  As for the discussion at hand, I have no intention to participate in
it -- although I'm afraid I'm going to be dragged into it.  This kind of
talk is one of the most demotivating phenomena in open source
development, or in any volunteer community, for that matter.  Having to
go over hundreds and hundreds of emails in a couple of days, few of
which seem to focus on concrete issues (when they're not unmitigated
drivel), just drains any person's enthusiasm and energy -- not to
mention time.  As Simon Spiegel asked what the reason was for the
seemingly little progress in the XeTeX world in the past couple of
years, I can answer for my part: this is it.  This kind of endless
threads on mailing-lists is the main organic reason why I don't invest
more time in development, as far as I'm concerned.  And I'm sure this is
the case for other core developers too.


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