Matthew Butterick posted a link today to Quad, his in-development typesetting engine, written in Racket. It’s an attempt to take the best ideas from both LaTeX and web browsers and build a modern, flexible typesetting engine.

The syntax (at least as it stands right now) is naturally very LISPy, and the examples are fairly low-level, but I’m quite interested to see where things go. While I haven’t done much typesetting lately, I’ve been itching to do more in LaTeX and less in InDesign, so that my source files are plain text and not locked into a proprietary format. And some things are more easily done in code. Also, I’ve wanted to share the source files for my work (as I’ve started doing with the PlotDevice sources for my language charts), but putting InDesign files in a GitHub repo just feels wrong. And InDesign isn’t exactly cheap, either.

So, LaTeX for now, and possibly Quad once it’s matured a bit.