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McEs, A Hacker Life
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
 FarsiTeX Revisited

For the last few weeks I've been working on FarsiTeX again. After a few years of flirting with the project, I finally managed to master each and every byte of it; so rewrote almost all of them! Kidding; but I really did quite a lot of things. Some twenty Persian fonts integrated! The engine has been improved drastically too. A release is scheduled for next week, September 27th, but there's still a lot to do...

I read LaTeX Companion and reviewed The TeX book again. Read lots of LaTeX source. Learned more METAFONT. More important than the release itself is the new point of view I got from this all. So now I have a precise idea of what the ultimate clean FarsiTeX looks like. And I will implement that later.

I'm writing down a report on the process right now.

Will FarsiTeX ever become a debian package in the main distribution, like ArabTeX is?
That's unprobable. FarsiTeX uses the old LaTeX 2.09, and that's probably not acceptible. More importantly, the editor only runs under WINE.
Why not just use Arab TeX instead? It has many advantages over FarsiTeX. It is based on macros, it is portable, it has a larger community of users and developers ...

The only problem that I have with arabtex is the misprinting of persian YA ...
FarsiTeX has various advantages to ArabTeX in my opinion, but the most important reason probably is just legacy. FarsiTeX has got its users which are mostly university students using it for their thesis and papers. Iranians don't like to type their documents in Latin transcription, and also ArabTeX's fonts simply look ugly for Persian.
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