[Dev-luatex] Modifying the LuaTeX Engine
dak at gnu.org
Mon Dec 29 19:10:53 CET 2008
Jonathan Fine <jfine at pytex.org> writes:
> Hans Hagen wrote:
>> well, you made a remark and david's responded, so the discussion is
>> now two mails long
>> anyhow, if it's so off topic (and david's mail was quite
>> on-the-topic that you started), then why did you made your remark in
>> the first place;
> To answer your question, briefly.
> In my view, my remark (on proliferation of pseudo-TeXs) was relevant
How so? We are on the LuaTeX developer list. It is quite useless to
argue about the prudence of its existence either way.
> and David's remark (on worship of Donald Knuth) was not.
You quoted Knuth as a reverence on changing/extending TeX. And we just
have heard on this list
> I'm just curious: Did Yazdipur try to communicate with the Omega
> developers and offer patches etc?
I do not think so, It seems that he has got no interest in the
Unicode world and he is a big fan of Knuth's TeX engine only and
does not want to write codes for PDFTeX, XeTeX and LuaTeX.
So yes, I do think that it is quite on-topic for the problem at hand to
point out that it is taking veneration too far when one tries using only
an 8-bit-font capable TeX with only built-in L-R typesetting
capabilities in this manner.
If there is one thing Knuth's example should teach people is that for
best results, you use the best-suited system and if there is none that
can in a reasonable way do the job, you build the best-suited system
And that's what LuaTeX is growing into. Now the style in which this
happens is different from Knuth's: he designed and later coded the whole
thing in its WEB incarnation (strictly speaking, the second generation)
on paper, and basically hacked it into the computer in one piece during
a month of work.
In contrast, LuaTeX development is filling in some of the blanks while
development is going on: there has not been a "we want to typeset this
particular document, and now plan everything necessary for this document
before starting to code" phase. And for a much more general-purpose
system, I find this approach reasonable, even though it may cost a few
> Having answered your question, I'm happy for this discussion to end.
David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum
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