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Omega was developed as an extension of
TeX, to use with multilingual texts, expressed in a variety of
input encodings. Omega uses 16-bit, Unicode-encoded, characters. It
provides many innovative concepts, notably including the “translation
process” that takes a character stream and transforms it according to
various processes that may be internally specified, or be a separate
While Omega showed a lot of promise at its mid-1990s announcement,
progress was slow, and development was essentially dead by the time
that one of the original developers withdrew (taking with him a bunch
of research students).
Before that distressing event, a separate thread of development had
started, to produce a program
called Aleph, which merged the facilities of
into a stable Omega codebase and added other
extensions. Aleph also proved an attractive platform for many people;
but its development, too, has dried up.
A presentation at EuroTeX 2006 claimed that development of Omega
was picking up again, in parallel with research into what the (new)
developers consider a rational scheme for supporting TeX-style
typesetting. The new system was to be known as Omega-2
(Omega subscript 2), and was to be
designed in a modular fashion so that support of new facilities (such
as use of advanced OpenType fonts) could be added in a relatively
straightforward fashion. A quick web search leads to a recommendation
that potential users consider LuaTeX
fortunately, lessons learned in Aleph project have been carried
forward in the development of LuaTeX.
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This is FAQ version 3.27, released on 2013-06-07.