[Dev-luatex] Q: Can LuaTeX produce xdv?

Arthur Reutenauer arthur.reutenauer at normalesup.org
Thu Jan 1 22:13:06 CET 2009

> Knuth and MacKay were the first to extent DVI, because it does not 
> adequately support bidirectional typesetting.

  Yes, and, as I already tried to communicate to you, this extended
format (I assume you mean DVI-IVD) seems to me like a dead end, because
at the time it was developed, over twenty years ago, there was almost no
foundation for encoding bidirectional text; and it has never been
updated to take Unicode's bidi algorithm into account.

> Are you saying, Arthur, that
>    Source to PDF using LuaTeX directly
> can proceed via
>    Source to DVI using LuaTeX
> and then
>    DVI to PDF using xdv2pdf (or some other tool)
> ?

  Of course it can, depending on the information you put in your DVI.
If you've been attentive to the explanations I sent earlier to this list
about vertical typesetting, you'll know where it can fail.  In this
specific case, though, xdv's extensions would have been of no use at
all: we would need some further extensions of the DVI format.

> I've been told (by Hans Hagen) that even for pdfTeX this is not advisable.

  It certainly isn't advisable.  Nevertheless, in many cases, it's still

> I'm looking for a what might be called a Unicode savvy Device Independent 
> binary format.  And I'm looking for XeTeX and LuTeX to share code and 
> ideas, when possible.

  Hence, what you're aiming at is for LuaTeX and XeTeX to produce some
common extended DVI format, not for LuaTeX to produce xdv, right?  This
is quite different since, as I said above, LuaTeX has some features that
XeTeX's xdv can't account for.

> I'm copying Jonathan Kew (XeTeX's developer in on this).

  I know who Jonathan Kew is.


More information about the dev-luatex mailing list