[XeTeX] The future of XeTeX

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Mon Jul 30 23:04:59 CEST 2012

2012/7/30 Adam Twardoch (List) <list.adam at twardoch.com>:
> On 12-07-30 21:00, Zdenek Wagner wrote:
>>> The question is: is it
>>> easier to find a volunteer for maintaining XeTeX or a volunteer who
>>> will implement missing features for luaotfload and port important
>>> packages as Polyglossia to luatex?
> It is definitely easier to replace the ICU Layout integration in XeTeX
> with HarfBuzz integration, and to tweak the XeTeX code to potentially
> remove the native Mac OS X font engine integration (or at least make it
> optional) than to write full-scale OpenType Layout shapers in Lua from
> scratch. HarfBuzz is still not perfect but it definitely developing
> towards becoming the only sensible OpenType Layout engine within the
> open-source realm. Developing some of the shapers, especially for Indic
> languages, is not trivial per se (it is taking the HarfBuzz developers
> quite a long time, and it is after all an intensive effort). Doing
> everything from scratch in Lua will be a similarly long-winded effort:
> Lua is not a very popular language, and even if an complete OTL solution
> is created in Lua some day, it will need maintenance.

> The great thing about the XeTeX concept is that it doesn't try to do
> everything itself. It uses the best available components to do the
> heavy-lifting. When Jonathan Kew created it, ICU Layout was the best
> OpenType Layout library available. Soon, HarfBuzz will be the best one,
> guaranteed to be maintained.
> As I've written on this list previously, integrating HarfBuzz into XeTeX
> (as an alternative to the existing engines, i.e. ICU Layout, Graphite 1
> and ATSUI) would be very desirable. I think such a project could be
> funded by some of the existing TeX groups.
In past LUGs spent good deal of money on several TeX related projects.
I believe that this policy will continue and funding XeTeX development
by LUGs should not be a problem.

> Best,
> Adam
> --
> May success attend your efforts,
> -- Adam Twardoch
> (Remove "list." from e-mail address to contact me directly.)

Zdeněk Wagner

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