The support for OpenType fonts has been a great advancement in terms of usability. Unfortunately the microtype package does not offer font expansion for OpenType fonts in XeTeX. I dug a little deeper into that topic and found that XeTeX doesn't offer appropriate primitives. I would really love to contribute those if I knew how. I cloned the repository of XeTeX from SourceForge, but I can't make any sense of the directory structure. I don't even know where font stuff takes place.

So the questions are: Where do I start with XeTeX development? What are valuable resources to understand the source code? What are the coding standards and how is the code organised?

  • Are you constrained to work with XeTeX, or are you willing to work with LuaTeX?
    – Mico
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 12:52
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    Just ask the current developers ;-)
    – user31729
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 12:52
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    You are asking about Tex development but seem to be really wanting xetex, the code base and arrangements and languages use differ depending on what project you are interested in. There is no general answer. Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 13:38
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    @DavidCarlisle To the non-expert the .xdv step in XeTeX use might be not at all obvious!
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 17:13
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    Otherwise, I don’t have much an answer to your question than read the code, this is how I got into this and I don’t think there are any general documentation answering the questions you are asking. More specific questions might have better chance. Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


Please ask the developers on the XeTeX mailing list.

  • 3
    And then, perhaps, link to the discussion here in the comments :) Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 16:22

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