[XeTeX] "Minimalist" TeX?

C Y smustudent1 at yahoo.com
Thu May 17 06:29:21 CEST 2012

> From: Joseph Wright <joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk>
> For a minimal compilable set up, maybe take a look at KerTeX:
> http://www.kergis.com/en/kertex.html

Thanks - I hadn't heard of KerTeX.  That looks quite interesting...

> From: Herbert Schulz <herbs at wideopenwest.com>
> If you happen to be on a Mac there is a BasicTeX installer that is a small subset of TeX Live.

BasicTeX looks like the right idea, but I'm on Gentoo Linux and would be interested in wide 

cross-platform support.  Still, for describing a "minimal" subset it looks like it might 

have useful info - thank you!

> From: Zdenek Wagner <zdenek.wagner at gmail.com>
> You have to define what is "an average LaTeX document". I have quite
> simple LaTeX documents that cannot be processed by XeLaTeX.

I guess the most complex things I'd be likely to try would be embedding asymptote 

graphics and some fairly involved mathematical typesetting.  I've seen a few 

XeTeX+asymptote posts floating around but a lot of the discussions seem to be 

from back in 2008...

> From: George N. White III <gnwiii at gmail.com>

> There have been various attempts in the past, but to succeed you need pretty
> tight control over the documents (macro packages and fonts required). 

For my proposed usage scenario, that's actually possible (I'm thinking 
about putting together what's essentially a minimal support system for 
literate programming - have a certain specified set of tools available, 
and then the program is written using only those...) 

> If done this a few times for "production" systems that needed to format a known set
> of documents.  I just used the TL installer and selected the only the few packages
> I knew I needed, then added the few more that were required.

This seems to be the common approach.  My ideal scenario be to build with CMake - it's 
becoming quickly apparent that means writing build logic for each of the 
individual components needed, but it wouldn't be the first time...

> From: Mojca Miklavec <mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com>
> Nobody can tell you what "an average LaTeX document is" and no matter
> how many packages you add, the next "average document" you'll test
> will almost definitely miss one package or the other.

A very good point - my visualized usage scenario is fortunately quite controlled, at least in principle.

> From: William Adams <will.adams at frycomm.com>
> W32TeX is quite compartmentalized though:  http://w32tex.org/

Another interesting resource I hadn't come across - thank you!

> From: Khaled Hosny <khaledhosny at eglug.org>
> It depends on how minimal you want it, plain only? base LaTeX? extra packages?

I was initially thinking basic LaTeX plus whatever is needed to get basic (i.e. 2D) graphics from asymptote and support the nuweb literate programming tool.

Thanks everybody for the suggestions and pointers!


More information about the XeTeX mailing list