#StackBounty: #xetex #biber #book-design #sv-classes #tex-gyre-math Typesetting a computer-science book with XeLaTeX+biber

Bounty: 50

For the next computer-science book I’m planning to edit, I’m considering switching from pdflatex+bibtex to a more modern setup.
To get an idea of the contents, think of 400 pages in the style of “Introduction to Algorithms” by Cormen, Leiserson, and Rivest (mild mathematics, some pseudocode in a self-invented, GCL-like programming language, some self-drawn diagrams, a few images), but to be sent as a PDF file to Springer. The book’s main language is going to be German, and there will be a tiny amount of typesetting in other languages (including mostly other Latin-based languages, Russian, and Hebrew math letters when I expend all the Latin letters). I am planning to produce an index (or indices) and a table of notation, ideally both with the glossaries package. The diagrams and graphs are likely to be drawn using TikZ.

Based on my experiences so far, I consider choosing XeLaTeX and/or biber. XeLaTeX would give me, as far as my tests go, the direct advantage that certain characters that now go as garbage to the text layer of the PDF file produced would become meaningful, selectable characters. With biber, typesetting a multilingual bibliography would get easier.

(An aside has to be made. I did consider LuaLaTeX as an alternative to XeLaTeX. But my tests so far showed that LuaLaTeX is way slower than XeLaTeX on my input, which would make my typesetter’s daily life harder, especially for a huge book. I had no experience with ConTeXt and cannot say anything about it so far. SILE apparently has no maths as of today, or at least I don’t see it in the manual.)

There is a high chance that SVMono will have to be adapted to XeLaTeX. Concerning the fonts, I’m looking at the TeX Gyre family. Moreover, I took a look at Moving from pdfLaTeX to XeTeX – what do I need to know?, Frequently loaded packages: Differences between pdfLaTeX and XeLaTeX, Transparency in tikz, preview package and xelatex, PSTricks transparency does not work with MikTeX's XeLaTeX, and PDF Layers (OCG) using xelatex and considered them non-issues in my case.

Now, has anyone tried to use XeLaTeX+biber for tasks similar to the one described above, and, if so, what were your experiences? E.g.:

  1. How hard was it to adapt SVMono to XeLaTeX and/or biber?

  2. Was there a barrier that you could not overcome (or not overcome easily) and had to invest major unplanned effort or to switch back to pdflatex+bibtex?

  3. Which pitfalls are to be avoided?

  4. Was there any free lunch you did not expect?


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