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Robin Fairbairns <[log in to unmask]>
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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 24 Feb 2009 09:17:22 +0000
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Javier Bezos <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> > Karl Berry <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> >
> >>     little reason to continue even with XeTeX. 
> >>
> >> Just for the record, even in the hypothetical future where LuaTeX has
> >> caught up to XeTeX in terms of system font access and Arabic
> >> typesetting, Jonathan K once spoke to me about another reason why
> >> XeTeX will very likely always have a place: good typesetting of other
> >> minority scripts.
> This is, imo, the big advantage of LuaTeX over XeTeX: the latter
> relies on what the font provides, while the former allows changing
> their default behaviour to fix and extend their capabilities.
> >> Since everything in LuaTeX is being programmed from
> >> scratch, it seems highly unlikely it will ever support the variety of
> >> scripts that ICU et al. do.
> > [David:]
> > It would seem to suggest itself to me that one part of dropping XeTeX as
> > a separate project would entail module loader and interfaces into ICU.
> > Ideally, one would have built-in support for the more important LuaTeX
> > targets, with seamless ICU fallbacks for the rest.
> And... The aim is to provide tools to extract data from the fonts
> in a generic way, so that they could be used in a similar way XeTeX
> does -- no need to support scripts separately, and therefore no need
> to write "everything" from scratch.

it's got to be written _somehow_; admittedly, one hopes that the group
of skilled lua-writers will be larger than that of (xe|lua)tex
internals-writers, but when you're aiming for support from a crowd, it's
often more difficult to motivate *anyone* to do a particular job.

remember that a good proportion of (current) tex users don't program
(whether from lack of skill or lack of inclination), so there will
always remain the reservoir of people for whom *anything* new must be
written for them.

> And... LuaTeX or XeTeX are essential for non English documents. The
> age of active characters, at last, coming to its end.

amen to that!

there will always be people who'll want things (on the edge of the
possible) that could usefully done with active characters, but perhaps
with a larger repertoire of capabilities they'll manage more sensible
ways of going about their tasks.