[XeTeX] The future of XeTeX

Philip TAYLOR P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk
Wed Aug 8 17:42:08 CEST 2012

Paul Isambert wrote:

> Ulrike Fischer <news3 at nililand.de> a écrit:

>> Sorry, but can you imagine that a typesetting engine can thrive
>> which must say on its webpage "I'm a wonderful tex engine based on
>> unicode but if you want to use open type fonts you will have to
>> write or adapt a lot of complicated code first".?
> Honestly, yes :)  That's what TeX is to me anyway: a wonderful system that requires a lot
> of hard work.

Yes, hard work at the macro/list-processing/expansion/execution level;
but it (or rather, a 21-century derivative of "it", where "it" = "TeX")
should not require hard work in order to interface properly with the
font-handling aspects of the operating system on which it is installed. 
  XeTeX has demonstrated that this is not necessary, and that
the engine itself can successfully be extended to handle those aspects
(not, perhaps, in quite as elegant way as might be hoped, but infinitely
better than not handling it at all).

Now, it is perfectly reasonable to argue that LuaTeX has a different
philosophy to XeTeX, and that there are things that can and should be
done in Lua rather than in the core binary : few if any would differ
with that.  But surely it is not unreasonable to ask the LuaTeX authors
and maintainers to provide the interface to the font system (whether in
core binary or in Lua would be entirely at their discretion) and to
make that interface format agnostic.

Philip Taylor

More information about the XeTeX mailing list