[XeTeX] The future of XeTeX

Paul Isambert zappathustra at free.fr
Sat Aug 4 09:38:44 CEST 2012

Yannis Haralambous <yannis.haralambous at telecom-bretagne.eu> a écrit:
> But there are also political issues: LuaTeX is developed by a team focusing on ConTeXt.
> LaTeX users will always be neglected, at least that is the feeling I have (Taco is very kind
> and helpful but he is paid for a specific task, and LaTeX is not part of it).

I thought somebody would answer to that but nobody did, so (sorry to add
to this already too long thread, all the more as I won't even mention

Two members of the ``core'' LuaTeX team (Taco and Hans) are indeed two
main ConTeXt developers (and even original author, in Hans's case), but
I don't think you can say LuaTeX development focuses on ConTeXt (plus
Hartmut, the third member, is a LaTeX user, as far as I know). I'd
rather say that at most LuaTeX development may be driven by the needs
of ConTeXt developers, but that doesn't mean it benefits only to ConTeXt;
also, given ConTeXt's high standards, I think it's only for the best.
And the specific task Taco is paid for does not include LaTeX, but it
does not include ConTeXt either.

For LaTeX users to be neglected, there should be some particular LaTeX
needs that the LuaTeX team does not pay attention to; but I can't see
such a need.

I use neither ConTeXt nor LaTeX, but plain TeX, and I've always found
Taco willing to implement features when they were sensible; on the other
hand, I've never felt this or that (lack of) feature was due to LuaTeX
being written for ConTeXt, and I think that's because it isn't. In other
words, I've never felt neglected.

Now, if you have in mind not so much the development of LuaTeX itself
but of packages written for LuaTeX, then indeed non-ConTeXt users may
be lagging behind. But that's not due to the LuaTeX team; Hans is working
hard to adapt ConTeXt to LuaTeX; we should work hard to do the same in
other formats (and actually some people do). Also remember that Hans
wrote a generic fontloader so it could be adapted to all formats (in
the guise of luaotfload, notwithstanding the current problematic state
of affairs). So, in general, if non-ConTeXt users should feel neglected,
that's only because of a lack of development of code based on LuaTeX;
but that's not an argument against the engine itself.


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