[UK-TUG] Election for Chair of UK-TUG: Statement by Jay Hammond

Joseph Wright joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk
Fri Nov 8 13:57:39 CET 2019

*Candidate Statement Jay Hammond*

*About me:*

I first encountered TEX in the 1980s, and have benefited from the talks, 
support, companionship and insight of the members of TUG and UKTUG. I've 
served on UKTUG committee between 2000 and 2011, including as membership 
secretary for several years, and as Chair. I've supported numerous 
(La)TEX publications, polyglot academic theses, books, a dictionary, 
catalogues, gazetteers, indices, a yearbook, as well as a wide range of 
non-mathematical penalty copy. I'm currently serving on the UKTUG 
committee again.

*The current environment for UKTUG*

UKTUG is not in a good state.

The world has changed. Originally local groups were essential, but in 
the subsequent decades we have mostly been rendered obsolete by the 

  * TEX support is mostly via Stack Exchange et al.
  * TEX distribution is mostly via internet (TeX Live/CTAN/. ..).
  * DVD production is rapidly declining, and will soon be unavailable.
    We plan to ease their demise.
  * UKTUG membership is small (about 85) and falling. Few new members join.
  * UKTUG speaker meetings are poorly attended (speakers outnumber the
  * Most TEX users in the UK aren't UKTUG members. UKTUG don't represent
    "the community". We are mostly retired.

On top of that, we have continuing internal difficulties:

  * We find it hard to recruit for key posts (Chair, secretary and

Without these posts filled it is hard for UKTUG to continue as an active 
organisation. Without a treasurer it is unconstitutional to do so. So 
dissolution is the only option.

  * One current committee member is most disruptive. Unco-operative.
    Sometimes irrelevant. Sometimes technically correct but with
    disruptive timing, by deliberately withholding the substance of his
    complaint until the last possible moment. so wasting most committee

Eminent TEX people, while remaining UKTUG members, will not serve on a 
committee with its present toxic atmosphere.

*Dissolving UKTUG*

Putting it bluntly, I am standing as Chair with the purpose of 
dissolving UKTUG.

Nebulous ideas to prolong the existence of UKTUG have been proposed but 
they don't bear much examination.

There's a motion to dissolve UKTUG, and an associated one to give the 
assets to TUG and Dante That has the merit of being quick and clear.

If I am elected as Chair I will ensure the committee addresses:

  * disposal of assets, financial and physical
  * archiving and data retention
  * tailoff plan for the DVDs
  * To the extent I can, I will consult and take into account members
    views on these issues.

If you feel, as I do, that UKTUG has had its time, is no longer useful, 
and the resources needed from the committee are not justified by the 
minute benefits it delivers, vote for me as chair of UKTUG, and for 
dissolution and I will bring about an orderly shutdown.

Jay Hammond

More information about the uktug-announce mailing list