Feb20 TUG news: TUG'20 @ RIT, accessibility, merch, ctan (quote)

TeX Users Group tug-news at tug.org
Wed Feb 5 03:01:54 CET 2020

Dear TeXers!

This year February has one extra day -- maybe it is these 24 hours that
we need to finish all the tasks postponed since the beginning of 2020.

One of the things you might want to do is register for TUG2020
(https://tug.org/tug2020/).  We have found a great location at the
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the home of the Cary Graphic
Arts Collection (https://www.rit.edu/carycollection/).  And while the
deadline for abstracts is April 10, you may want to register earlier for
the Calligraphy workshop presented by Kris Holmes (of Bigelow & Holmes)
and Lorrie Frear (RIT faculty member) on July 23, the day before the
conference.  Space in the workshop is limited, and expected to
quickly fill up -- so do not wait for February 29.  Finally, the
deadline for bursary (financial assistance) applications is April 15.

Another important date is March 31 -- this is the deadline for
submissions to the coming issue of TUGboat.

TeX is an important tool for accessing mathematical and scientific texts
by visually impaired people. I'd like to use some space in this
newsletter to mention some advances in this area -- and discuss the
possible ways for us, the TeX community, to contribute.

First, there is a new typeface to facilitate reading by visually
impaired people: http://www.luciole-vision.com/luciole-en.html.  This
is an interesting project, and I wonder if TeX font developers would
want to take a look.  While XeTeX and LuaTeX should support the text
font out of the box (via fontspec), we might want to add legacy
engines and the support of matching math.  It would be nice to have
the font in the standard TeX distributions: its CC-BY license is
permissive enough.

Another tool is the Accessible RMarkdown Writer,
http://www.arowtool.com/.  At present it is limited to Markdown
syntax, and the authors mention that tools like LaTeX are
``considerably more difficult to use, and require much higher levels
of proficiency to be able to use properly''.  Still I think a similar
LaTeX tool might be very useful.

On another front: we have some new designs at
https://www.redbubble.com/people/texusersgroup; if you have any
TeX-related art you'd like to see on stickers, mugs, t-shirts, etc. --
please let us know.

Philip Taylor found this great quotation; probably one of earliest
mentions of CTAN in the popular literature:

     For a biography of Deputy Foreign Minister Richard Hausen and any
     information on his father, Smythe went on-line and executed FTPs to
     acquire data from ECRC Munich, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY,
     DKFZ Heidelberg, Gesellschaft f\"ur wissenschaftliche
     Datenverarbeitung mbH, Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum f\"ur Informationstechnik,
     and Comprehensive TeX Archive Network Heidelberg.
     (Tom Clancy, Op-Centre III: Games of State, 1996, Chapter 49).

Note that CTAN was officially announced at the EuroTeX conference in
Aston, 1993.

I must say that in January's CTAN contributions I could not find any
information on Richard Hausen or his father (or Tom Clancy), but the
following new packages were found (https://ctan.org/pkg):

- bearwear, shirts to dress tikzbears
- cmupint, upright integral symbols for Computer Modern
- expkv, an expandable key=val implementation
- hep-paper, publications in High Energy Physics
- physconst, macros for commonly used physical constants
- physunits, macros for commonly used physical units
- pmhanguljamo, a poor man's Hangul Jamo input method
- scholax, an extended TeXGyreSchola (New Century Schoolbook) with math
- secnum, a macro to format section numbering intuitively
- simplebnf, a simple package to format Backus-Naur form (BNF)
- texplate, a tool for creating document structures based on templates
- thorshammer, assessment based on AcroTeX quizzes
- tikz-trackschematic, a TikZ library for creating track diagrams in railways
- verifica, a package to typeset (Italian high school) exercises
- wasy-type1, Type 1 versions of wasy fonts

Happy TeXing!
Boris Veytsman, TUG President

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