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Re: Emacs design and architecture

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: Emacs design and architecture
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2023 04:39:03 +0000 (UTC)

> I know little about LaTeX, but I thought it was nicer commands built
> on the same engine as TeX.  What would we gain by using LaTeX as the
> base instead of Plain TeX?

There are a lot of severe drawbacks in the current `texinfo.tex`
implementation that cannot or will not be fixed.  The most serious are
the following.

* Texinfo exclusively uses the Computer Modern fonts with its 7-bit(!)
  OT1 font encoding.  This only supports a very limited set of
  (natural) languages with proper hyphenation and kerning.  To say it
  bluntly and slightly exaggerating, it delivers good typography for
  US English and nothing else.

* Many people don't like the appearance of the Computer Modern fonts.
  However, it is very hard to change to a different font family,
  especially because you have to create proper support for the OT1
  encoding, which is a non-trivial undertaking.  Additionally, you
  have to directly modify internal `texinfo.tex` macros since Texinfo
  doesn't provide a proper API to do so.

New versions of `texi2any` directly create LaTeX output files,
completely bypassing `texinfo.tex` and its limitations.  It is thus
possible to use the full typographical power of modern TeX engines,
which, for example, directly support Unicode and thus essentially all
languages of the world.


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