On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 2:22 PM Jon Forrest <nobozo@gmail.com> wrote:

TeX badly need an official rewrite in a modern programming language
(e.g. Go, Rust, even C). The rewrite should drop support for the
.dvi format, and use .pdf instead. It should also make use of
modern hardware capabilities and not have any built-in limits
to how much memory gets used.

These issues are well recognized by the TeX community but with
Knuth not willing to be the BDFL, TeX is floundering.

(I don't mean any of this as criticism of TeX. It's a truly
miraculous program that was created in a different time.)


Although I'm not connected with the TeX community, I don't agree with much of what you said.

1.  TeX source to C is fine - stable and works.  It would be impossible to rewrite TeX in any other language without introducing bugs and incompatibilities. Leaving TeX as-is means that it can be converted to other languages too if/when C goes out of style.  TeX as-is is exactly what it is.  Anything else wouldn't be TeX.

2.  Drop DVI?  Are you kidding me?  Although PDF may be popular now, that may not be the case 20 years from now.  A device-independent format is what is needed, and that's what DVI is.  TeX is guaranteed to produce the exact same output 100 years from now.

3.  I am curious about memory limitations within TeX.

4.  Knuth is getting up in age.  Someone will have to take over.

I suppose #4 was my whole point about both TeX and troff.  They're both great tools.  Perhaps people used them in the past because there weren't many other solutions.  You had to learn them.  These days people prefer the simpler tools such as Word, OpenOffice, etc.  Although they can't produce the same quality, they can produce sufficient quality with a smaller learning curve.  Don't get me wrong, I despise Word.  I just don't find my feelings echoed very much.  Some things TeX and troff are going to need in order to continue:

1.  Continue to be maintained

2.  An effort to make knowledge of them wider will have to occur if they are to continue.

3.  A case for their benefit will have to be made and dispersed.

Blake McBride