[Dev-luatex] REQ: Please tell comp.text.tex why LuaTeX chose embed rather than extend.

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Sun May 24 14:14:30 CEST 2009


Jonathan Fine wrote:

> One of the participants asked: "What was the rationale behind choosing 
> the embed route by the LuaTeX team?"

the motives for doing ot the way we do has been discussed in articles 
and presentations several times the last couple of years so it makes no 
sense to repeat that again

the reasons for choosing lua are (1) we like it, (2) it's small and 
stable, (3) it does not add updating, huge libraries and depencies mess 
to tex distributions, (4) it's fast, (5) it's made for this purpose

anyhow, we consider tex to be the core application that we wanted to 
extend, and as lua is perfect as extensions language, we follow this 
route; the starting point is the user base and users use macro packages; 
users don't want to implement font, language, typesetting, math, 
whatever subsystems themselves

maybe > 2012 we've reached a stage where one can isolate the tex 
component but in itself it's rather useless as it needs all these extra 
subsystems; taking just the par builder and making that a library 
component is quite doable but useless in perspective of tex usage;

also, the tex community has a large code base, distributions etc etc and 
it made perfect sense to stay in that domain (i.e. keep macro language, 
be compatible, provide support for existing stuff, etc)

so, in practice we're not talking of tex, but of the whole 
infrastructure around tex; also, we do it the way we like most (which is 
a pretty valid argument too)

for other motives, discussions etc etc i refer to all things (to be) 
presented, discussed, published

Hans

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