Re: several LuaLaTeX questions



Am Tue, 9 Apr 2013 01:21:56 -0700 (PDT) schrieb zappathustra:

Yet there is an almost complete lack of documentation, tutorials, Howtos,
and general help and advice - or even discussion - on LuaLaTeX.

That is basically because there is very few people, non from LaTeX
team AFAIK are working on LuaLaTeX and my impression is that
there is not much enthusiasm from LaTeX developers to go into a
LuaTeX-only route which is, IMO, the only sensible way to
leverage all the power of LuaTeX, otherwise you don¢t get much
from LuaTeX than what you get from XeTeX, for example.

Well my enthusiasm cooled down a bit due to the unsatisfactory
situation regarding font loading in lualatex. xetex may not have all
the luatex power but it has something luatex lacks: a stable and
reliable interface to use (open type) fonts and - as it uses open
libraries like ICU or now Harfbuzz (or however it is called) -- a
team with the necessary knowledge to handle extensions and bug
corrections.

I would really like e.g. to extend the chess fonts packages to
lualatex but it is no fun when there is no documentation, no clear
interface for the user who wants to do more than simply use a font,
no maintainer (team) and nobody knows if and how changes in the
context code will or can be transported.

Let's not forget that NOBODY is officially in charge of fonts in
LuaTeX, LuaLaTeX, or anything else. Code was written by Hans Hagen for
ConTeXt, adapted and maintained by Khaled (and Elie Roux?) for use
outside ConTeXt, endorsed in LaTeX because Will Robertson made
fontspec work with it, but that was just good will from dedicated
people and nowhere is it written that the story stops here. So I find
it quite surprising to blame people for what's not been done when
what's been done is already so much.

I'm not blaming anyone. I know quite well that things are only done
if people do them. And I do find it quite wonderful how much things
are done by dedicated people. But this doesn't change the fact that
currently there is a gap regarding fonts in lualatex. luaotfload is
basically unmaintained and nobody knows if it will break with future
luatex versions.


In other words, people dissatisfied with fonts as currently handled in
Lua(La)TeX can set to work on a new fontloader; they'll see the task
is formidable and perhaps they'll try to be a little bit more tolerant
for those who are currently trying to do something.

Exactly that is the problem: fonts are complicated. I myself know
quite well that I couldn't handle it - even if someone would offer
me a serious amount of money. I don't have enough knowledges about
open type fonts and lua to write an own handler. I don't know enough
about context to be able to transport its code (and due to the lack
of internal context documentation it would be difficult to acquire
the knowledge).

But on the other hand a typesetting system with an incomplete and
unmaintained fonthandler is ridiculous. Lualatex needs someone (or
more than one) who closes the gap - officially or unofficially, pain
or for free.


--
Ulrike Fischer
http://www.troubleshooting-tex.de/
.



Relevant Pages

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  • Re: several LuaLaTeX questions
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