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

From: Max Nikulin
Subject: Re: LaTeX export: when is it more useful to use LuaTeX instead of pdfTeX?
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2022 09:12:17 +0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.9.1

I'm sorry, again, replying to the private copy of the message sent as Cc, I dropped mail list address at first.

Please, consider my response in the following context:

Ihor Radchenko, 2022-07-09:
Or we may go even further and make org-latex-compiler default to luatex.
This will benefit all the non-latin language users.

On 09/07/2022 21:58, Juan Manuel Macías wrote:
Max Nikulin writes:

LuaTeX uses Latin Modern
and it is not nearly Unicode

Maxim, please look at this screenshots carefully:


This set of characters is covered by latin-1.


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.

Frankly, I don't know what Latin Modern you're referring to, and what
you mean by saying that "it is not nearly unicode".

/usr/share/texmf/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman10-regular.otf I noticed in the LuaLaTeX log. Do you get non-latin characters with my example (without modifying \setmainfont) on your machine?

% ================
% ================
Abc — Αλφάβητο — Азбука…

\usepackage{fontspec}\setmainfont{FreeSerif} is the same as choosing the
font in the libreoffice font menu.

I rarely use libreoffice, so settings should be close to defaults. I can just paste this text and I see whole snippet without additional actions. I have no idea why Liberation Serif is chosen, but the default font has much better coverage, so it is suitable for more users.

But I think
that this basic example that I have put is quite simple, and gives the
user the freedom to choose his preferred font and not the one imposed by
the system.

My point it that such freedom is not for free. If you know which font you would like to have in a book, you are ready to add some settings and LuaLaTeX has advantages in such case.

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 or typewriter text is missing.

So LuaLaTeX should be a conscious choice of users ready to add set of fonts for each language used in the document. I do not try to say that LuaLaTeX has no advantages. Application such as browsers or office has a feature suitable for routine documents: graceful degradation in respect to glyphs missed in the specified font. For publishers in some cases it may be a disaster (however I believe that ideally such issues should be discovered from logs even when not apparent from visual appearance of the document).

I am unsure if it was made by design or TeX engines with native support of Unicode fonts should made another step further, but currently Org is able to provide default preamble for PdfLaTeX, but not for LuaLaTeX and the latter is at least not trivial.

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