[XeTeX] The future of XeTeX

Khaled Hosny khaledhosny at eglug.org
Tue Jul 31 03:41:53 CEST 2012

On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 06:04:13AM +0530, Shriramana Sharma wrote:
> > 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.
> And that's what is in line with the Unix philosophy write? Code-reuse?
> I'd have been happy if ConTeXT with its provisions for fine
> typographic control would have continued to support XeTeX in its
> further development, but well the developers have decided to make it
> monolithic and based on Lua, so that's their call.

LuaTeX was developed for ConTeXt (it was Hans idea, even the very choice
of Lua was because he was using it somewhere else and liked it), so no
surprises here. If the kind of stuff MkIV is doing was possible without
LuaTeX, they wouldn't have started it.

That being said, it is not impossible to integrate HarfBuzz and Graphite
into LuaTeX (it can use external binary modules), but it is unlikely to
be part of LuaTeX proper because they want as few external dependencies
as possible (and XeTeX has shown that external dependencies are not
without cost).

I feel you frustration, I'd like see everyone move to HarfBuzz (even
non-free software), and have as less incompatibilities as possible (it
is a nightmare to develop a moderately complex OpenType font and get it
to work the same everywhere), but different projects have different
philosophies and one has to understand this.


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