Mimi Lafrenz Jett
1466 NW Front Avenue, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97209-2820, USA
An outcry for more training, specifically for the everyday users of TeX and LaTeX, was the basis for planning TeX Northeast, a conference in New York city to be held March 22-24. This is a new conference on our roster, not our annual meeting or a replacement for any other meeting, but a gathering based on need and the desire to work together. If you are going to be in the northeast USA in March, please plan to join us!
Speaking of great meetings, EuroTeX 98 will be held in Saint-Malo, France, March 29-31. This annual event is hosted by GUTenburg, and will run successively with EP'98, the European electronic publishing event. Many in-depth seminars and talks will add to %the experience as TUG members from all corners of the world come the experience as TeX users from all corners of the world come together for this exciting conference. Plan to attend EuroTeX, there will not be another meeting like it this year!
Our annual meeting and conference is planned for August 17-20 in Torun, Poland, hosted by the members of GUST. This will be our main conference for the year, with presentations from TUG members covering all aspects of our technology, and gatherings designed to improve communication and understanding between our people. This is one of the important benefits of our meetings, having the chance to know each other and share the work we are doing. If you are able to attend any of these events, please plan to join us. It will be an experience you will not quickly forget.
With the new year, we have a chance to heal the wounds of the past and move forward. There have been many mistakes, and misunderstandings in our past, as in any organization. It is time to put them aside and focus on our objectives. In the time I have worked with the board, beginning in 1992 and through the present day, I have witnessed intense emotions and some hurt feelings. But I have also seen a spirit of cooperation and goodwill that extends from and to every person involved with TeX. It is good to note that the positive outweighs the negative, and is increasing at a steady rate. My sense for 1998 is that we are growing closer to the type of group we have hoped to become, and that we can put the past into the history books and enjoy the future as it unfolds. We expect increased membership this coming year, and growth in many areas to support that membership.
The business affairs of TUG are under scrutiny, as we try to bring closure to the accounting questions that have bogged us down in the past year. At this time, we are undertaking an internal audit of our records to ensure accurate reporting to you and our friends in the government(s). It appears that a bug in our accounting software has left many accounts out of balance and confused the outcome. The 1996 tax return was filed, at the advice of our CPA, but we know that there are errors. As a non-profit organization, the penalties are steep for non-filing so we prepared the return with the understanding that we will amend it as soon as we know the exact numbers. A report of our financial condition will be posted when it is complete. The good news is that we are enjoying positive cash-flow due to our diminished expenses, and the membership renewals are already coming in daily from individuals and institutions. We finally have a system in place for tracking memberships and accounting on an individual basis.
On a personal note, the work and employees of ETP/Harrison have become a part of Interactive Composition Corporation, another TUG member for many years. In fact, I originally met Gordon Johnson at the TUG meeting in Dedham, Mass., in 1991. He was a friendly competitor, always willing to work to improve the conditions for all of us. After many years of struggling in the publishing industry, it was a welcome relief to entertain the thought of selling to Gordon and his company. We are looking forward to a long and wonderful relationship. Concerning the TUG office, ICC has generously agreed to continue to house the office at no charge to the organization (other than telephones and staff) for the duration of our lease on Naito Parkway. Thanks, Gordon!
Here's to you, and the new year, may it be full of hope and inspiration. Thank you for your support and good wishes this past year.
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