[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: LaTeX export: when is it more useful to use LuaTeX instead of pdfTeX

From: Juan Manuel Macías
Subject: Re: LaTeX export: when is it more useful to use LuaTeX instead of pdfTeX?
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2022 19:03:27 +0000

Bruce D'Arcus writes:

> Today, I think the only advantage pdftex has is speed; it's a lot
> faster to compile documents than luatex.

That's true, but it seems to be a LaTeX and fontspec issue. I think
ConTeXt, which uses LuaTeX, is faster, but I don't have the hard data.
In general TeX is slow and single-threaded and cannot take advantage of
the latest hardware. The ideal would be to rewrite TeX from scratch.
There is this project (among others), very interesting:


(It is written entirely in Lua and implements the TeX algorithms. The
problem is that it lacks the LaTeX package ecosystem, is a niche.)

> And maybe some advanced microtypography features, though I haven't tracked 
> that.

This is one of the most interesting parts of pdfTeX, based on Hermann
Zapf's theories on the Gutenberg Bible. I believe that Zapf himself
advised the author of pdfTeX for his famous thesis, from which pdfTeX

LuaTeX has inherited the microtype properties of pdfTeX, so they can be
perfectly used and applied in luaLaTeX with the microtype package
(generally speaking, LuaTeX is still a kind of evolved pdfTeX...).

BTW, This article explains very well these microtypographic theories and
their origin. InDesign's poor implementation compared to pdfTeX is also
commented on:


In general, font expansion greatly improves the visual quality of the
paragraph and the use of space. Character protrusion works well for
producing a more consistent justification as well, but relies on ad hoc
values being used for each font. There are already some defaults for
various fonts in the microtype package. Indesign, on the other hand,
just uses generic values, which doesn't make much sense.

Best regards,

Juan Manuel 

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]