1. 30
  1. 4

    I think this is quite intriguing, I can build a Beamer slide set with only fetching 20MB of data (+ 48MB Tectonic).

    But I really wish it used LuaTeX, especially now as it moved to C. I think many future TeX developments will make use of Lua.

    1. 1

      Is LuaTeX part of the standard distribution? Just wondering what will make LuaTeX take off.

      1. 3

        Time, I think, will make LuaTeX take off. It’s already a huge part of ConTeXt. Any large macro package would be easier to implement in Lua than TeX.

        1. 3

          I love LuaTeX and ConTeXt, but they heavily suffer from a documentation problem. It’s always a struggle to find any practical advice. :(

          (I write all my slides in ConTeXt through SHSC): https://github.com/skade/SHSC#usage

          1. 1

            I agree, but I have found whenever doing ConTeXt that I have fewer questions than I do using the alternatives. So, I get further before hitting a brick wall, but the brick wall’s a doozy. :)

        2. 1

          It is part of TeXLive, has good support for modern things like OTF and PDF, and the embedded Lua makes much logic a lot easier. Also, it seems to be one of the few engines that are actively developed.

      2. 3

        Due to its historical baggage, Tectonic is written in a combination of C, C++, and Rust. The aim is to eventually transition it to be fully written in Rust, but that is going to take a long time.

        See, that’s the interesting bit to me here. The nominal reason is to make porting to things like WASM easier later.

        1. 3

          self-contained TeX/LaTeX engine.

          Downloads resource files from the internet on-the-fly

          One of these is not like the other.

          1. 7

            Disagree. The engine is self contained, but also contains the capability of referencing resources as URLs.

            I don’t see a contradiction here at all.

            1. 2

              well, I have a git of tex files and I’m getting on a plane for a ten hour flight, so I’m looking for a complete and self contained tex implementation. Is this the one I want?

              1. 2

                Probably not, because what you say you want here is not what is being advertised. At all :) Just go download a standard TeX distribution.

                1. 2

                  I guess I don’t understand what words like complete and self-contained mean. Where do I go to find out?

                  1. 3

                    I believe it means “not reliant on an external TeX implementation”. So the engine implements TeX/LaTeX, but without any legacy code. If you use any extensions or resource files above and beyond TeX/LaTeX (possibly including extensions normally bundled with TeX/LaTeX but not technically part of the engine), then it will want to fetch those for you when it builds your documents.

                    1. 5

                      So the engine implements TeX/LaTeX, but without any legacy code.

                      That part’s not true; it embeds essentially all of XeTeX, which is what does the actual typesetting, and why there are 120,000 lines of C/C++ in it. It’s more of a Rust wrapper around XeTeX at the moment, not a new implementation of the typesetting engine.

                      1. 2

                        Ah, got it. Thanks for the correction.

                    2. 2

                      Are you intentionally missing the words “The engine” in the original announcement?

                      1. 2

                        No, the emphasis on engine is definitely something I overlooked.

              2. 6

                I am exactly of this philosophy so Tectonic is very careful NOT to require ANY network access for builds if all of the needed resource files have been cached locally. And because the I/O backends are pluggable, you can download the “bundle” file containing the install tree and point Tectonic to use it for fully network-free operation.


                (This person is the author)