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Re: Prefer luatex for documentation, Re: Prefer luatex for documentation

From: Luca Fascione
Subject: Re: Prefer luatex for documentation, Re: Prefer luatex for documentation
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2022 12:03:34 +0100

I must say I don't understand this discussion.

If we as the developers of Lilypond recommend users move onto
lilypond-next, shouldn't we also keep current with versions of software
around us?
After all, we upgrade platforms, compilers, python interpreters, guile
interpreters and all that, what exactly is it that makes the TeX engine any

LuaTeX is the "current" engine (actually it's locked and LuaTeX-HB is the
next version up), pdfTeX was frozen several years ago (like 10 or

Also, I find it disheartening and a big part of why I myself lost a fair
bit of steam in contributing, how the criticism towards Werner's work comes
across as harsh and short-tempered.
He's gone ahead and provided working source code for a result that is
clearly an improvement and a step forward (small for some, more material
for others, including me),
what exactly is the reason for rejecting this? I read arguments saying that
it provides some "real work" to support whatever many versions of TeX.
First off, it seems to me it's mostly on Werner's shoulders where this work
would fall anyways, besides, if that was a real concern, why can't we just
help him drop the _oldest_ supported engine, so that we actually keep
moving forward?

This would have two benefits: one, of some importance, to reduce
dependencies on old codebases and products, which will inevitably go stale
over time, or expose you
to risks of missing features, the other, more important in my view, to
gratify and support the work of a contributor, which will feel valued as
part of this group.

I thought for a while whether I should write to the list, because I lack
evidence that these posts of mine provide much value.
All the same, seeing useful work shot down like this, without a single
voice in support of it felt out of place to me.

I'd think as a community of developers trying to work towards a common
goal, we should all support each other's work and initiatives,
and propose better reasons for not changing than "friction" and "I can't
bear the idea of yet another upgrade, I'm too tired for that".

Lastly, I must say I find it unbelievably surprising that a group of
developers writing software for (musical) typography shows this level
of complete lack of interest for (literary) typography. It's really jarring
in my eyes.


On Mon, Nov 21, 2022 at 7:00 AM Werner LEMBERG <> wrote:

> >> There are a bunch of LaTeX packages that only work with a specific
> >> TeX engine, and which need special input code for that.  For
> >> example, `fontspec` (with its excellent OpenType support) only
> >> works with XeTeX and luatex.  Or think of 'lyluatex', which
> >> obviously needs luatex.
> >
> > Yes, absolutely. This is exactly why I am surprised that some people
> > set global environment variables that select a TeX engine "to always
> > use the same". What tools do they have an effect on?
> I forgot to mention that *all* TeX flavours understand 'normal' TeX
> and LaTeX code that was written for the original TeX incarnation.  If
> you only work with such code and don't have to or don't want to deal
> with extensions like OpenType font handling, it often makes sense to
> replace `pdftex` with `xetex` or `luatex` since the latter two
> programs usually produce *much* smaller PDF files.
>     Werner

Luca Fascione

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