TeX.SE as well as external resources contain information from as far as 2010 regarding e.g.
microtype, and popular dilemmas such as
polyglossia, which seem to be outdated… or are they?
XeLaTeX is still labeled as beta and the last version seems to be from 28 May 2013 while
microtype 2.5 alpha has been around since 23 May 2013.
LaTeX3 also seems to be halting – the last issue of
LaTeX3 news was published on 27 July 2012, but there has been a promise of two updates per year. The last available
unicode-math (0.7e) was released on 4 April 2013 and the list continues.
The only apparently actively developed one is
LuaTeX, but it has already been 7 years since the initial release and yet a stable release is not even in sight (0.78.2 preview was published on 13 January 2014). It was originally expected to reach 1.0 in 2002, the LuaTeX reference manual indicates it is due spring 2014 (which is now), and the most recent roadmap expects LuaTeX 1.0 bundled with TeX Live 2016, which is basically a 14 year delay.
Update [2014-12-27]: The 1.0 release has once again been postponed to TeX Live 2018. Hence, I rest my case.
What is currently the most modern way of TeX-based typesetting?
It should include microtypographic features, UTF-8 support, preferably OTF fonts and compatibility with most basic classes like
memoir and packages such as
biblatex with the use of
I tried to clarify this question as much as I could but I am having trouble defining the issue which could either be a sign of my irrational motives or the result of overall vagueness in this area. Yes, I believe it is vague and confusing – ranging from popular TeX.SE answers that include superfluous settings and abstract substantiation for preferring one of the alternatives (“
babel is more complete than
polyglossia, which is more modern”), to obscure information and the never ending confusion about TeX/LaTeX/LaTeX2e/LaTeX3/Xe(La)TeX/Lua(La)TeX/pdf(La)TeX/eTeX/ConTeXt/whatever else is out there.
I have decided to ignore XeLaTeX and experiment with LuaLaTeX with the option of switching back to pdfLaTeX should things go wrong. Thanks for your patience and apologies for the blabbering. :-)