[XeTeX] Future *TeX [was: XeTeX maintenance] (Simon Cozens)

Janusz S. Bień jsbien at mimuw.edu.pl
Mon Apr 27 07:16:17 CEST 2015

On Mon, Apr 27 2015 at  3:34 CEST, xetex-request at tug.org writes:
> Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2015 10:34:25 +0900
> From: Simon Cozens <simon at simon-cozens.org>
> To: "XeTeX (Unicode-based TeX) discussion." <xetex at tug.org>
> Subject: Re: [XeTeX] Future *TeX [was: XeTeX maintenance]
> Message-ID: <553D9221.2000903 at simon-cozens.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
> On 26/04/2015 23:02, Karljurgen Feuerherm wrote:
>> b) assuming a certain level of Xe(La)TeX competence at the ?presenting?
>> level, what recommendations would experts on this list make to ?upping the
>> ante? I.e. progress toward a more insider understanding of the software?
> OK, I can answer this but I shall add a few other scattered thoughts as
> well. :-)
> First I also want to thank Khaled for his fantastic work in keeping
> xetex maintained, bugs fixed, and users happy. Until recently I presumed
> that Khaled was a professional software and/or typography person; I
> didn't realise that xetex was essentially a free time project for him. I
> was even more amazed by his dedication and professionalism.

Me too.

> Bit by bit, I seem to have picked up how TeX and xetex works, and I wish
> I could help with the maintainership, but I just don't have the time at
> present. (And given that I think the future of TeX is spelt "SILE" I
> don't think it's appropriate for me to either. ;-) )
> How to get to know xetex? I think the first step in moving from a user
> to understanding the mechanics has to be Victor Eijkhout's TeX By Topic.
> Either buy a hard copy or download it from
> https://bitbucket.org/VictorEijkhout/tex-by-topic/src and read it over
> four or five times. It's by far the best introduction to how the TeX
> engine works.

I support this.

The strange thing is that despite such a large community of users nobody
created a TeX debugger. The only one unfinished attempt seems to that
presented in 1995 (!) in Bachotek:

Lutz Birkhan: The TeX debugger
Proceedings of the Eight European TEX Conference, September 26-30, 1994, Gdańsk, Poland, pp 91-95. 

The interface seemed quite reasonable and the author was willing to make
the code available, but looks like nobody was interested.

My tiny contribution is also unfinished:


Best regards


Prof. dr hab. Janusz S. Bien -  Uniwersytet Warszawski (Katedra Lingwistyki Formalnej)
Prof. Janusz S. Bien - University of Warsaw (Formal Linguistics Department)
jsbien at uw.edu.pl, jsbien at mimuw.edu.pl, http://fleksem.klf.uw.edu.pl/~jsbien/

More information about the XeTeX mailing list