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

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Fri Jan 2 10:05:22 CET 2009

Hi all,

Arthur Reutenauer wrote:
>> As subject.  xdv is the eXtended DVi format used by XeTeX.
>   Actually, it can.  LuaTeX produces DVI, which is perfectly palatable
> to XeTeX's xdv2pdf and xdvipdfmx.  What features of xdv are you missing
> in LuaTeX's output?

As Barry said in another message, ToUnicode information would be
useful. It is true that every DVI is also XDV, but not every XDV
is DVI, and (some of) XeTeX's extensions would be nice to have if
they can be integrated without too much effort.

When it comes to new extensions, there already is at least one
"Unicode-aware extended DVI format" commonly available, and that
is ISO 32000, a.k.a. PDF 1.7.

Note that from the user's point of view, a PDF is also what XeTeX
generates. The backend conversion is hidden inside the executable.

In the luatex engine, that already knows how to generate PDF on its
own, there is no reason to go via DVI and (x)dvipdfmx to generate
a PDF document. Also, the new PDF previewers like the one in
texworks are fast enough to replace DVI previewers in interactive
editing. Metapost is probably the last program that actually needs
DVI for the label typesetting, and that dependency is already planned
for removal. So the usefulness of DVI is limited and diminishing.

In my opinion, it would therefore be a waste of effort to spend a
lot of time working on an extension to the DVI backend. In fact,
I advocate removing the whole possibility to create DVI output at
some point in the future.

Best wishes,

PS And a Happy New Year to you all!

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