[OS X TeX] latex and xelatex
amunn at gmx.com
Tue Mar 16 13:42:23 EDT 2010
On Mar 16, 2010, at 11:00 AM, David Messerschmitt wrote:
>> I don't really see how it helps anyone to have this proliferation
>> of (la)tex implementations with differing abilities.
> I assume the issue here is whether merging the versions could be
> done transparently, that is, without breaking some people's existing
> documents, scripts, etc.
> Of course merging would have the advantage of making document
> sharing smoother. It seems like one of those "rock and a hard place"
> The problems that prevent smooth merging are the very same problems
> that get in the way of document sharing.
This is the one big issue with respect to XeTeX: by allowing full
access to system installed fonts (as opposed to TeX installed fonts)
it brings back the whole problem of incompatible fonts across
different OS's; of course there are some open source OpenType fonts
available for all systems (e.g. TeX Gyre), but in general, users won't
have these fonts.
Also, even with a particular OS, most users may be unaware of the
sources of their system fonts. My machines all have MS Office and
Adobe CS3 on them, and I have a lot of fonts available that other Mac
users may not have if they have neither of those packages. I have
some sense of the Adobe fonts, but not much of the MS fonts, with
respect which actually came with my Mac and which didn't.
In practice, then, a xetex document created on on system will not
necessarily be portable to another system; in regular latex this is
rarely a problem. (Although perhaps only due to the fact that adding
new fonts to a TeX distribution is such a PITA that most people just
put up with the few that are available.)
For this reason, I haven't made a full switch to xetex, although I use
it for certain things where I want a more interesting font selection.
(And distributing source is not a problem.)
amunn at gmx.com
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