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Best of PracTeX 2004–2008
All of the submissions during the past several years were excellent and the authors are to be commended for their dedicated and imaginative work. What follows are the articles and pieces from the PracTeX Journal that I particularly liked or thought were most in the spirit of the Journal.
Summaries of the PracTeX Conferences. These were held in the US in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and attracted 60--70 attendees each.
Jim Hefferon has written some casual, down-to-earth articles on using LaTeX and other resources. Jim seemed to capture the spirit of journal and his articles are truly practical.
Peter Flom was a neophyte, a true LaTeX Fledgling, who wrote about his initial experiences using LaTeX. His early attempts were humorous and sometimes painful, and he reported them bravely.
Don Story was perhaps the most prolific writer. He wrote two excellent articles in about two days, while he was proctoring his final exams in Computer Science.
Blast from the past: Christina Thiele wrote a few columns called "News from Around", the same title she used in an early TeX Users Group publication called "TeX and TUG News" from the 1980's.
John Burt's article on critical editions was the most elegantly written.
One of the more popular Distractions was a font quiz. It had four levels, and offered a range of valuable prizes. This was done in conjunction with SOTA (Society of Typographic Aficionados) and Typophile.
Andy Roberts wrote one of the best general audience articles on LaTeX. He also maintains an excellent web site on basic LaTeX usage .
For a Distraction column, a small group of word fanciers composed a cryptic crossword. It seems they probably had more fun composing the puzzle than those who tried to solve it.
The best LaTeX writing style award goes to Fernando Saenz-Perez. You can see his style in this LaTeX file. See the following for the complete article.
Cleverest readers --- the Sudoku solvers. Two TPJ readers, Peter Wilson and Zachary Catlin, wrote LaTeX macros that print and solve Sudoku puzzles.
Paul Blaga - wrote several articles and editorials, and edited several issues. His native language is Romanian, and he is fluent in English and Italian as well.
Will Robertson - refined the pracjourn LaTeX style, and contributed to early issues. During the past few years, though, he has been writing his doctoral thesis and has not been as active with the journal.
One early goal of the Journal was to publish informal notes and project reports. These could be submitted by readers who were working on document projects using LaTeX, with the aim of sharing their experiences, both good and bad. Some articles of this type were received, for example see Hefferon and Flom above. I hope more articles of this type appear in future issues.
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