[texhax] Omega

klists at saphor.de klists at saphor.de
Wed Sep 1 09:39:26 CEST 2004

Dear Robin, dear Karl,

Many thanks to both of you for the pointers and the background

The news on Omega and eOmega don't seem all that reassuring...

I've now read the preprints of TUG 2004 (the one's of TUG2003 I can't
access, unfortunately), Vincent Zoonekynd's excellent pages without
which I would have been totally lost in the wilderness and the
relevant parts of "Digital Typography using Latex" which I obtained
this weekend. With this background I've now successfully tyeset a
small sample text of mine in Omega, the version included in
my Debian tetex distribution. The text contains an assortion of
German, Greek, Hebrew and Russian passages. I use a Unicode true-type
font to render the Hebrew.  However, many things remain obscure, for
example why Lambda typesets a footnote in an overall left-to-right
text (German, in this case), but anchored in Hebrew paragraph
right-to-left rather than left-to-right as the main body of the
text. I wonder if it is worth the time to delve into these
'behaviours' without any substantive documentation nor any point of
contact to ask if these are errors (possibly long corrected in the
source) or intended features.

>     Never heard of e-tex. 
> It is a relatively conservative extension of tex done quite a few years
> ago now, allowing for more registers (64k instead of 256), more tracing,
> right-to-left typesetting, and other assorted nice (and uncontroversial,
> as far as I know) features.  Version 2.2 will be released this year.


Do you know of any experience of e-tex + UTF-8 encoded text (heavily
multilingual, multiscript)?

> As of last year, the LaTeX team requested that etex be the default
> engine for latex, and we made this so for TeX Live.
> I think Robin answered most everything else.
> (Robin: perhaps some of the above details would be worth including in
> http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=NTS.)

I had a look at NTS. I like the idea of the Java reimplementation, and
to my surprise I've been able to run some old plain TeX files of mine
without noticing any change to the resulting dvi (and it took only
some twenty times longer than the real TeX). 

That still leaves the question in the air where the journey is

Best regards,


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