I've been impatiently waiting to switch from pdfLaTeX to LuaLaTeX, specially because it has been stated that the latter is the successor of pdfLaTeX (as described by Xavier in https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/126216/27833).

My question is... what is the current situation, given that they key questions are more than 6+ months old.

key questions

Which "TeX" should one use?

Why choose LuaLaTeX over XeLaTeX?

Using LuaTeX as a replacement for pdfTeX

Drawbacks of XeTeX/LuaTeX

Would you consider Luatex to be ready for a production environment

Is it safe to turn lua now? Is still XeTeX better supported and better documented? Should we keep pdflatex for the moment?

I know the immediate answer is "depends on what you want to do", so please think of the regular user who writes reports, a couple of articles and dissertations. Nothing too fancy, just a normal guy who uses LaTeX instead of Word

Do you see any immediate problems by switching to LuaLaTeX as of today? Most important: Any limitations? Any major advantages? What are the most biggest inconvenient of switching?

What am I missing if I keep using pdfLaTeX? What would happen if I insist using it? Is a person who keeps using pdfLateX getting left behind?

  • 1
    Please be a bit more specific about your "nothing too fancy" requirements. E.g., do you have need for OpenType fonts? There are by now some apps that require Lua(La)TeX, i.e., they won't run under pdf(La)TeX or Xe(La)TeX. If you want to use one or more of them, I guess you need to compile your tex file under Lua(La)TeX. – Mico Mar 6 '14 at 20:30
  • @Mico, I'm sorry, it was Xavier. I'm correcting it. Nevertheless, any comments? :) – Mario S. E. Mar 6 '14 at 20:32
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    In general, I think LuaTeX is very 'safe'. I have been using it most of the time (via lualatex) for about two years; and keep in mind that it is the default engine for ConTeXt, which certainly implies a fair degree of 'safety' regarding its use/usability. If you operate mainly on the LaTeX surface of things (if I can put it that way) you are unlikely to notice many/most/all changes that are occurring on the LuaTeX level as it advances to version 1.0. But I can't say this with any particular authority... – jon Mar 6 '14 at 20:43
  • @jon Did you read tex.stackexchange.com/q/100932 ? – Paul Gaborit Mar 6 '14 at 23:01
  • @PaulGaborit -- Yes, I remember the question (and seem to have it favourited). However, I do not think that is the kind of 'safe' the OP meant; it certainly was what I meant to imply by the term, which was only that there is a high probability that a document compiled using LuaTeX today via lualatex will still be compilable in the future. – jon Mar 7 '14 at 2:13

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