After reading Paul Isambert's article "Three things you can do with LuaTeX that would be extremely painful otherwise " I finally decided to check LuaTeX. Unfortunately, the code from the article does not work under old LuaTeX from TeX Live 2009 (and probably from TeX Live 2010 too). I downloaded a binary from the site, tried to run it and got an expected error:
This is LuaTeX, Version beta-0.40.6-2009100220 (TeX Live 2009) (Fatal format file error; I'm stymied)
There is no README. No installation instructions. No FAQ entry. Just a binary file.
Below is my way to run a new luatex without changing the working installation of TeX. First of all, I need the textool.sh wrapper to run TeX tools from non-standard locations, decribed here.
The next step is to generate a new luatex format:
$ ./textool.sh ./luatex --ini luatex-plain.tex $ mv luatex-plain.fmt luatex.fmt
Finally, the file compiles:
$ ./textool.sh ./luatex LuaTUGboat.tex
As for luatex, context etc, I think the approach is the same. I don't need these formats (yet), therefore haven't tried to find details. They are welcome as comments.