[OS X TeX] TeX Hour: Thu 21 July: Open Space: All persons and topics welcome

Jonathan Fine jfine2358 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 20 20:44:12 CEST 2022


First a personal word about the climate emergency, then tomorrow's TeX
Hour. Abstracts for my TeX 2022 Conference talks are in Appendix.

Earlier this week the heat dome over Europe split out onto the UK. (Brexit
did not protect us. The laws of physics do not obey the laws of society.)
On Monday and Tuesday we had record temperatures, reaching 40.2 C. In the
dry hot weather there were many fires. No more green and pleasant land.

Tuesday afternoon was the worst, and for about 5 hours it felt that my home
was heating up in a hot oven. I now better feel sympathy and solidarity for
those suffering much more than I am from the climate emergency.

Normal service, including refreshing rain, has now resumed. There will be a
TeX Hour tomorrow. It will be an Open House. All topics and persons
welcome, particularly beginners and new visitors.

TeX Hour: Open Space: Thursday 21 July, 6:30 to 7:30pm UK time.
Zoom URL:
UK Time Now: https://time.is/UK.

Tomorrow and Friday I'll be preparing my talks for the TeX 2022 Conference.
My titles are

   - Access and Accessibility
   - The UK TeX Users Group - a personal history

Here's the TeX 2022 Conference  (free of charge):

with best wishes


APPENDIX A: Access and Accessibility

The Chafee Amendment [1] to US copyright law "allows authorized entities to
reproduce or distribute copies or phonorecords of previously published
literary or musical works in accessible formats exclusively for use by
print-disabled persons."

This wonderful legal exemption to copyright nicely illustrates the relation
between access (here to print works) and accessibility (here production of
phonorecords, i.e. audiobooks). Here's another illustration.

Jonathan Godfrey, a blind Senior Lecturer in Statistics in New Zealand
wrote to the Blind Math list [2] "I used to use TeX4HT as my main tool for
getting HTML from LaTeX source. This was and probably still is, an
excellent tool. How much traction does it get though? Not much. Why? I
don't know, but my current theory is that tools that aren't right under
people's noses or automatically applied in the background just don't get as
much traction."

Jonathan Godfrey also wrote to the BlindMath list [3] "Something has to
change in the very way people use LaTeX if we are ever to get truly
accessible pdf documents. I've laboured the point that we need access to
information much more than we need access to a specific file format, and
I'll keep doing so. [...] I do think a fundamental shift in thinking about
how we get access to information is required across most STEM disciplines."

This talk looks at the experience of visually impaired STEM students and
professionals, from both the point of view of easy access to suitable
inputs and tools and also the generation of accessible outputs, as
pioneered and enabled by the Chafee Amendment.

[3] http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/blindmath_nfbnet.org/2021-March/009778.html

APPENDIX B: The UK TeX Users Group - a personal history

UK TUG was established in the early 1990s. I've been a member of UK TUG
almost from its start through to its dissolution earlier this year. Much
has changed both in the TeX community and in the wider world over that

UK TUG was a significant part of the TeX community. Besides myself
(Jonathan Fine), former members of UK TUG include Peter Abbott, Kaveh
Bazargan, David Carlisle, Paulo Cereda, Malcolm Clark, David Crossland,
Robin Fairbairns, Alan Jeffrey, Sebastian Rahtz, Arthur Rosendahl, Chris
Rowley, Philip Taylor and Joseph Wright.

This list includes 2 past Presidents of TUG, the current Vice President and
a past Secretary.  Ten people on the list served on the TUG Board, for a
total of over 30 years.

Five are or were members of the LaTeX3 project. One was the founder and for
8 years editor of TeX Live, and another the Technical coordinator of the
NTS project. One is a Lead Program Manager for Google Fonts.

This talk provides a personal history from `\begin{uktug}` to
`\end{uktug}`, with a short `\aftergroup` appendix.

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