More behind the scenes changes...
Posted Jun 20, 2013 8:14 UTC (Thu) by anselm
In reply to: More behind the scenes changes...
Parent article: Meeks: LibreOffice's under-the-hood progress in 4.1.0 (beta)
TEX completely missed the OpenType revolution, it's still playing catch up just to use them at the basic level.
On the other hand, it took the rest of the industry 20 years, several false starts and finally OpenType to catch up with what TeX could do with fonts in the 1980s. The font side of TeX (Metafont) was way ahead of anything else at the time and still is in various respects; it's too bad that the rest of the world went with the Adobe stuff (which incidentally postdates TeX and Metafont).
When TEX distributions drop all special TEXified fonts and make use of the system OpenType fonts without any preprocessing (including wide-encoding smart fonts), exploiting a generic OpenType engine such as harfbuzz (and not a pile of brittle one-shot macros), then they'll be able to claim OpenType support.
One of the ideas behind projects like LuaTeX is to make that sort of thing easier. In the meantime TeX isn't going away; as long as the other (free, in particular) projects suck as much at professional-quality typography as they do TeX has nothing to fear. What's the point of having good fonts if you can't typeset worth a damn with them?
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