[Dev-luatex] It seems that harfbuzz people care luatex and xetex a lot...

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Wed Sep 16 18:11:46 CEST 2009

Yue Wang wrote:
> TeX engines are batch document processors but worth looking into
> separately. Historically TeX had no shaping engines and basic shaping
> was done using macro packages and a variety of hacks. More recently
> though, XeTeX was invented. XeTeX simply outsources the shaping to an
> external library, ICU or Apple's ATSUI currently. XeTeX is a separate
> branch of the TeX evolutionary hierarchy than the mainstream pdfTeX
> though. The XeTeX creator is working on HarfBuzz on behalf of Mozilla
> now, and plans to port XeTeX to HarfBuzz eventually. In the long term
> though, pdfTeX's successor luaTeX should be made to do the same thing.
> There is more to Unicode support than just shaping, and in those areas
> the TeX engines can gain a lot by building on top of existing
> libraries.

so if you wan tto use those libraries use xetex instead then (no gain in 
using luatex); the objective of the luatex project is to have a regular 
opened up tex engine with all under user/macro package control

eventually (when luatex is mostly finished) one can always consider 
using libraries (i.e. converting node lists to whatever some library 
likes and convert what comes back to node lists) but that is then just 
one of the methods and not part of the luatex project


                                           Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
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