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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: Sat, 09 Jul 2022 20:22:07 +0000

Max Nikulin writes:

> Characters from Latin scripts, the set is wider than latin-1 but does
> not cover other languages. I do not dispute that font encoding is
> Unicode (if it can be stated so), usually support of Unicode is
> associated with smooth experience with wide range of languages.

A Unicode font is a Unicode-encoded font. It can have 2 glyphs or 2000.
But it's still a Unicode font.

> But for default settings getting blank instead of text in some routine
> notes is hardly acceptable. Unfortunately \setmainfont is not enough.
> Starting for "the simplest of basic" on the next step a user may
> notice that bold...

Please, compile this:

Abc — Αλφάβητο — Азбука…
\emph{Abc — Αλφάβητο — Азбука…}
\textbf{Abc — Αλφάβητο — Азбука…}
\textbf{\emph{Abc — Αλφάβητο — Азбука…}}

With \setmainfont{FreeSerif} I'm telling LuaTeX to use the full
FreeSerif family as the main roman font, which includes bold, italic,
and bold italic. It is the duty of the user (at least the LuaTeX user)
to know that this family is present in his/her system and includes those

> or typewriter text is missing.


I honestly don't understand why you find it unacceptable that the
responsibility for managing fonts and the languages associated with
those fonts falls on the user. It is to be expected. And it is something
that has finally corrected a great anomaly that TeX and LaTeX has always
been dragging along for almost its entire history, and that put it
(being more powerful and sophisticated) behind other types of
typesetting software like Indesign or quark. LuaTeX and XeTeX are
digital typesetting systems. They are not word processors. The user who
wants fine tuning in this regard will have to read the fontspec manual
and the babel or polyglossia manual thoroughly. I can agree with you
that the choice of the "default" font (Latin Modern) is not exactly happy,
due to the little coverage that this font has for non-Latin scripts. But
the demanding LuaTeX user is rarely going to use latin modern (I've
never used it in my life for real production). I think I made it clear
in the first post of this thread what kind of use cases LuaTeX is
suitable for. If someone finds that unacceptable, of course you'd better
use pdfLaTeX. By the way, in pdfLaTeX you can't write Greek out of the
box, nor Arabic, nor Japanese, etc., etc. So I don't see where the
difference is.

And even so, I insist, it is not necessary to go into typographical
depths. A configuration like the one I put before
(FreeSerif/FreeSans/FreeMono) will satisfy 90% of lazy users or those
who want to use LaTeX in autopilot mode.

Is it possible to implement all that in Org in such a way that a minimum
preamble is generated with what is necessary? How to define "what is
necessary", when there are thousands of options in fontspec and many
ways to declare and define font families and font features with
fontspec, with babel and with polyglossia? That's not counting
specialized packages for Arabic, Japanese, etc. (and I am writing a
package for greek). I think doing something like that in Org would be
highly intrusive on Org's part. Maybe something very, very, very basic
and minimal would work in order to avoid those empty spaces that seem
unacceptable to you, maybe three variables for
setmainfont/-sansfont/-monofont[1]. Going further, in my opinion, makes
no sense. I think it is much more important to unify in org the issue of
languages, polyglossia and babel, because as it is now it collects an
obsolete scenario.

[1] In my opinion, something similar to what pandoc does by default,
using the iftex package, would suffice:


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