Re: LaTeX3 project

On Sep 28, 5:51 am, David Kastrup <d...@xxxxxxx> wrote:

LuaTeX is work in progress. If you see the amount of discussion on
new PDFTeX features and how they could affect LaTeX development, you
won't see many more postings of interest.
I understand that LuaTeX is work in progress and so that early
adoptees have to contend with a moving target. But there are
some tricks one can play to make life bearable.

For instance, fold::perl's interface to LuaTeX is built on-the-fly by
interrogating LuaTeX's system tables. Thus new functionality,
when it comes on stream, is automatically exposed. Of course,
one still has to contend with the issue of losing functionality.
But one can study the source for ConTeXt and make educated
guesses as to what feature are core, i.e. likely to remain
untouched, and those that are still in a state of flux.

While I am aware of the metric "no TeX-based technology can be taken
seriously until it has found its way into
CTAN:macros/latex/contrib/oberdiek", I see LuaTeX on a reasonably good
road there.
Agreed, which is why I'm prepared to put in some investigative effort
rather than leave it for another 12/18 months.

The LaTeX team is not prepared to ditch all other TeX engines as far
as I can tell. LaTeX can be made to run on standard TeX, Omega,
Nor should they.

Aleph, PDFTeX, XeTeX and a number of other platforms. It will likely
require eTeX in future, but that still makes it eligible for variants
of all those platforms. The stability and feature set of LuaTeX is
Looking to the long term, say 10 to 15 years out, it would be nice
to think that there would be a core TeX engine that used a shared-
model for loading variants on the fly. I know that Lua's developers
recognize the value of such an approach, see section 8.2 of PIL:

Usually, Lua does not include any facility that cannot
be implemented in ANSI C. However, dynamic linking is different.
We can view it as the mother of all other facilities:
Once we have it, we can dynamically load any other facility
that is not in Lua. Therefore, in this particular case, Lua
its compatibility rules ....

The current version of LuaTeX, however, disables LUA's dynamics
capability. I'm not sure why this was done. But this would be one
feature that I hope Taco reconsiders.

not there where it could replace all of those platforms. There is no
sense designing with it until some of the dust has settled down: Taco
is still very much shattering TeX to pieces and glueing them together
again and changing interfaces around.
I agree that there is no sense in designing production code,
but it doesn't seem unreasonable to take a peek at what the
future holds and gear up for it in a measured fashion.


Once he is through with the first bout of construction work, people
will likely be able to take enough of a breath to test drive it and
make suggestions. And then we are likely to see a second bout.

David Kastrup