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I am writing a book about LuaTeX - what topics would you like to see in that book? More beginner's topics or more advanced sections? Both? I'd like to hear your opinion.

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This is a quite vague question unless you state elaborate on your motivation for writing the book and any possible restrictions. –  N.N. Sep 9 '11 at 8:57
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There are no restrictions except that the book has to be some reasonable size (not 1000 or 10 pages) and that I'd like to listen to the audience. - I know that this is vague but I am sure the answers will make it less vague. –  topskip Sep 9 '11 at 9:00
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Is it precisely that book announced by OpenSourcePress for July 2011? In case yes, would you mind to inform the publisher about the remote possibility of a short delay? I've been curious about the book for monthes and now? –  Keks Dose Sep 9 '11 at 10:50
    
Is the book targeted towards a specific macro package, or is it indifferent to macro packages? Certain tasks (for example fonts as some of the answers suggest) are very different across macro packages. –  Aditya Sep 12 '11 at 4:17
    
Well, it is more targeted towards plain and LaTeX. Perhaps I'll have an "excursion into ConTeXt" chapter. –  topskip Sep 12 '11 at 6:26
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5 Answers

I'd warmly welcome a chapter or two that guides users of latex2e (mostly pdflatex these days, right?) along the path they'll have to take to adapt the code of their existing documents so that they'll compile under lua(la)tex. For instance, if they've been using some font packages (say, mathpazo or mathptmx), how will they have to change their setup to make it compile in lualatex?

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I’m delighted to hear that there’s a book in the works.

Because of UTF-8 and fontspec, LuaTeX is attractive to those who work with languages and literature. This means that we’ll be looking for ways around babel where it’s only “partially working” (p. 13 of Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard’s A guide to LuaLaTeX). Paul Isambert’s article on French punctuation (pp. 87–100 of the current issue of Cahiers Gutenberg) is an example of the kind of thing we need to know about, but while I follow most of his discussion, we non-programmers could use some help applying it, and also making sure it doesn’t apply to any non-French parts of a document. And what do we do with Greek? I’ve found, by trial and error, that I should just type the Greek and not enclose it in \textgreek{}, but what about hyphenation and the like?

As for fonts, I’m now happily using Adobe Jenson Pro and other favorites for which I was pining, but although I’m accustomed to reviewing log files for warnings about missing characters, with LuaTeX I find that missing characters are silently skipped. So I’ve taken to proofreading the output more closely and examining each font in FontForge to make sure that it contains every accented character required by my text, but maybe there’s something to be explained here?

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  • What added value LuaTeX offers (what is possible or easier than with pdflatex, xetex, xelatex, ...) and how best to achieve the benefits. (Why should I move?)

  • Same question but with pre-processing and post-processing tools (e.g. for image preparation, PSTricks, importing pdf pages, bibliographies, citations, indexing). (Will "x" still work as it does now? If not, how best do I achieve it the same or a better result?)

  • Can fonts and font tools that are designed for/with TeX and LaTeX still be used, e.g. Computer Modern bitmap fonts, virtual fonts, commercial fonts such as Lucida and MTPro, EPS images, pdf pages). (Partly this is extending Raphink's point on font management comparison with XeTeX to include TeX and PDFLaTeX) (Can I still use font y or glyph z?)

  • The basic working set: do I have everything I need if I have the current TeX Live?

Finally, is your book aimed at first-time users of (Any)TeX or at users migrating from other already familiar with, and using, another member of the TeX and friends family?

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The book is not aimed at first-time users. The reader should be familiar (at least a bit) with plain or LaTeX. –  topskip Sep 9 '11 at 9:49
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Some suggestions

  • A very quick chapter with some good examples to get someone started quickly (This shouldn't include installation instructions, rather put that in an Appendix and don't forget Window users).

  • Quick Lua scripting guide (all examples to solve particular problems)

  • Font management
  • Under the hood (how it all relates and works)
  • Chapters on more advanced topics (extending LuaTeX, packages etc..)

In general with code I would envisage a book of about 300 pages.

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This could include:

  • Migration from PDFTeX (mostly, what doesn't need to be done anymore -- inputenc, etc.);
  • Font management, and comparison with XeTeX;
  • Scripting with Lua.

These are quite obvious points, I'm sure others will have more fine answers.

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