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Re: Prefer luatex for documentation

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: Prefer luatex for documentation
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2022 16:28:35 +0000 (UTC)

> I'd say that for a 80-100page document it's maybe somewhere between
> 50% and twice as slow.  Still it's a several seconds build that
> becomes more several seconds.  I'm not sure it crosses important
> workflow thresholds [1], it certainly didn't in my own use.

The problem is the startup time of luatex.  For processing our more
than 1000 small snippets that are embedded in the final documentation
(as PDF files), this sums up.

>> We changed to XeTeX because pdfTeX produces invalid PDF outlines if
>> non-ASCII characters are involved.  This is not a problem with
>> pdfTeX itself but due to lack of support in `texinfo.tex`.  At that
>> time of the switch, LuaTeX support wasn't ready – there was a
>> `luatex` bug that stalled further work for two months or so (until
>> someone suggested a workaround, see MR !1740).
> Ok but then are you saying pdfTeX is not usable today, and it's
> either XeTeX or LuaTeX today?

The problem of pdfTeX is well defined: Incorrect PDF outlines for
non-ASCII characters.  For CI testing of MRs this is negligible –
speed is much more important here.


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