[XeTeX] The future of XeTeX

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Tue Jul 31 11:33:42 CEST 2012

2012/7/31 Keith J. Schultz <keithjschultz at web.de>:
> Hi All,
> ...
> Soo, if more users do not switch to Lua(La)TeX and requesting features, the developers will not need feel
> the need to add low-level support for them or will those possibly interested step up to bat.
> It is like VHS and BetaMax. On will eventually win. The Users will decide. All others will be left with a outdated
> system that is deprecated.
> As far as Lua(La)TeX development is concerned. I am, personnaly, somewhat disappointed. I would have expected
> it to develop faster. Especially, documentation wise. Sure, there is a reference manual, but that does not help much,
> unless you are a TeXichian. Other, manuals to the Lua-interface are lacking in some respects, too. I have was chasing
> a bug(!) for more than a half a day. My code now works.
Yes, this is the point. My documents fall into two groups:

1. I can compile them in old LaTeX without lua or with XeLaTeX

2. They are not supported by luatex at all

The only case where I cannot use the old LaTeX is typesetting textx in
Hindi (if I do not wish to use the Velthuis system). In luatex even
the simple नमस्ते दुनिया fails. Thus nothing pushes me to study the
luatex reference manual (almost 200 pages in TL 2012) and then
rewriting HarfBuzz in lua (and maintaining it). Switching from old TeX
to XeTeX is easy, the extensions behave just like primitives. The
language is already known. It is easy to learn how to use
\XeTeXinterchartoks etc. Luatex is more difficult. If you want to do
anything in lua, you have to understand the internal structures, you
have to learn the hooks. It needs much more time.

> So as you all can see it cuts both ways. I vote is to gradually switch to Lua(La)TeX. I believe that it can become the
> future.
It can if other scripts become supported.

> reagrds
>         Keith.
> --------------------------------------------------
> Subscriptions, Archive, and List information, etc.:
>   http://tug.org/mailman/listinfo/xetex

Zdeněk Wagner

More information about the XeTeX mailing list