[tex-live] Fontconfig for XeTeX versus regular fontconfig

Jonathan Kew jfkthame at googlemail.com
Thu Oct 27 23:39:13 CEST 2011

On 27 Oct 2011, at 21:10, Robin Fairbairns wrote:

>>> LuaTeX is actively developed while XeTeX is IMHO not really
>>> maintained.
> which isn't a problem if xetex already does what is needed of it.
> however, xetex surely _does_ need a backstop of some sort.  jonathan kew
> occasionally answers mails, but i don't believe he codes for it any
> more.

OK, here's an occasional response. :)

That's a fair assessment, I think. While I have ideas of things I'd still like to do with xetex, the reality is that I don't have the time to devote to it these days. The last substantial new development was done by Han The Thanh, who added the character-protrusion support, but I'm not sure if he has time or interest to work on further issues at this time.

Although I'm unlikely to do substantial coding on it for the time being, I'd be happy to review proposed patches or discuss possible enhancements if someone wants to take on the work. At one point, Jin-Hwan Cho was hoping to do further work on the output driver side, but I'm not sure if he has had the opportunity to actually make progress there.

I believe the worst of the problems with xetex/xdvipdfmx font mismatches due to multiple versions of the same-named font could actually be fixed fairly easily, by modifying xetex so that (when using fontconfig to find fonts) it always writes the absolute path to the font file into the xdv output (as if the font had been specified by absolute pathname in the source document). This would of course make the xdv file even less "portable" between systems than is currently the case, but in practice I don't think there's any significant use-case for moving xdv files around; they're essentially an internal representation of what will become the PDF output, and the fact that they can be captured on disk is incidental (though sometimes handy for debugging purposes).


More information about the tex-live mailing list