TUG'20 proceedings+videos, LaTeX 2020-10-01, CTAN, links
TeX Users Group
tug-news at tug.org
Sun Oct 4 03:39:38 CEST 2020
In the last issue of this newsletter I wrote that the 2020 Proceedings
issue of TUGboat was at the printers. Today those of you who
subscribe to the physical edition have probably received your copy.
I enjoyed reading it! According to our policy, the previous issue, 41:1,
is now publicly available.
The next (regular) issue of TUGboat is being compiled. The deadline is
October 15; if you have a contribution, please consider submitting it in
time for 41:3. See https://tug.org/TUGboat/ for information and links.
Another bit of post-conference TUG'20 news: thanks to much hard work by
Paulo Ney de Souza, Norbert Preining, and others, videos of all
presentations are now available:
Browse and enjoy!
There are several notable future conferences:
- October 31: GuIT 2020, the meeting of Gruppo Utilizzatori Italiani di
TeX, https://www.guitex.org/home/meeting. It will be held online this
year. Attending the conference is free of charge and it does not
require registration. The deadline for submissions is October 18.
- November 5-8: Awayzgoose type conference, also online, hosted by the
Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum and the American Printing
History Association, https://woodtype.org/pages/wayzgoose-schedule.
- March 10--11, 2022: DANTE Meeting,
Perhaps the most significant news for LaTeX users is the release of the
2020-10-01 version of LaTeX; it includes a number of changes in the
kernel as well as a new hook mechanism. The LaTeX News installment will
be posted shortly at https://www.latex-project.org/news/latex2e-news
(it will also appear in the next TUGboat).
Leading up to this release, parallel formats (pdf,lua,xe,...)latex-dev
have been available for some time (and they will continue to be made).
Their purpose is to make it easier for users, package authors and the
LaTeX team to test release candidates before an official new version.
(See https://www.latex-project.org/news/latex2e-news/ltnews30.pdf for
more info on the -dev formats. In general, just run, e.g.,
"pdflatex-dev" instead of "pdflatex" to give it a try, and report problems.)
We encourage users and package authors both to test their work with the
new LaTeX version, and to routinely use the -dev formats to help test
releases in the future.
In another area of the TeX world, another important update is the
addition of a new CTAN macro directory. The new directory tree
is for macros that work only with Unicode engines like XeTeX and LuaTeX
(e.g., not pdfTeX). In contrast, the trees CTAN:/macros/luatex/ and
CTAN:/macros/xetex/ are for macros specific to LuaTeX and XeTeX
respectively, while the directories outside of these trees are for
macros that work either for all engines, or for the "traditional" ones
only. Package authors are invited to check the classification of their
works and inform CTAN if a change should be made.
A couple of interesting links (both thanks to Nelson Beebe).
1. A web site about Joseph-Balthazar Sylvestre's Alphabet Album (1843):
(the file can be downloaded from
By the way, TeX distributions feature a good collection of initials
fonts; see https://tug.org/FontCatalogue/otherfonts.html#initials.
However, there is an interesting feature which I have seen so far
only in some commercial decorative initials. Some foundries offer
matching font files for the letters and the decorations, allowing
one to have multicolored initials like the ones in medieval
manuscripts. TeX with its \rlap command provides a natural way to
use this feature. It might be an interesting task to implement it
for free fonts as well.
2. An amusing list of future TeX news is included in the post by
David F. Griffiths and Desmond J. Higham about the second edition of
their excellent book from SIAM, "Learning LaTeX":
2022 news item in the collection made my day. By the way, I was
thrilled by the statement in the post that it was TUGboat and my
review that urged the authors to issue the new edition.
Finally, new CTAN packages in September (see https://ctan.org/pkg/ for
more about all packages, as always):
- cmathbb, Computer Modern mathematical bold font;
- docutils, helper commands and element definitions for Docutils LaTeX output
- doulossil, a font for typesetting the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA);
- josefin, Josefin fonts with LaTeX support;
- light-latex-make (llmk), a build tool for LaTeX documents
(presentation at TUG'20 about it: https://youtube.com/watch?v=47EJWVjOPlc)
- lua-physical, functions and objects for computation of physical quantities;
- semtex, dealing with stripped SemanTeX documents;
- unitipa, TIPA typefaces with Unicode characters as input;
Boris Veytsman, TUG President
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