[XeTeX] The future of XeTeX

Paul Isambert zappathustra at free.fr
Tue Aug 7 08:51:41 CEST 2012

Ulrike Fischer <news3 at nililand.de> a écrit:
> Am Sat, 4 Aug 2012 09:38:44 +0200 schrieb Paul Isambert:
> >> 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
> > XeTeX):
> > 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.
> Well if you look only at the actual binary then yes your are right:
> it is not focused on context. But the handling of fonts is a core
> feature of a typesetting system. No user of a typesetting system
> would consider it to be complete if it can't handle standard fonts.
> So even if in luatex the font loader (including all the code needed
> to generate caches) is in external lua-files, it should nevertheless
> be considered to be part of "the luatex binary". It shouldn't
> delegate font handling to the formats.  

I understand you're concerned about future font support in LuaTeX, but
technically the engine is little more than an extendable PDFTeX. Fonts
follow that philosophy: TFM (with mapping to T1) fonts are supported
as in PDFTeX, other formats must be loaded and processed by hand. Whether
it's a good idea or not in that case I don't know, but it is definitely
consistent. (Actually I do think it's a good idea, but I accept my
opinion might be marginal.)

Now, as I've already said, Hans has written a format-independent font
loader; somebody is only required to make the necessary adjustments to
(La)TeX, as Khaled did until recently. My main point was not whether
LuaTeX was well-designed, but whether (La)TeX users could be said to be
neglected, which I still think isn't the case.


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