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TUG 2016 in Toronto - The discussion PDF Print E-mail
LaTeX Community - Conferences
Written by Stefan_K   
Thursday, 28 July 2016 21:15

At 4:15 the TUG meeting started. Jim Hefferon moderated it. He started with a few slides. First, he gave a summery of the TUG bylaws and goals, that are, further summarized, maintaining TeX, supporting TeX users and caring for fine typography. Following that objectives, the TUG sponsors conferences, development of fonts, and specific activities and projects such as CTAN and LuaTeX development.

TUG 2016 in Toronto - Arriving and first excursion PDF Print E-mail
LaTeX Community - Conferences
Written by Stefan_K   
Sunday, 24 July 2016 05:26

The day has come: flying to Toronto! The conference will start on Monday, but I planned to arrive on Friday. I'd like to have a few days more in Canada, and especially I would like to make the tour to the Niagara Falls with our TeX group on Saturday. I had a very good flight. I could enjoy a business class flight, thanks to working at an airline (join us - we use TeX too! I will talk about that later.). Passengers are first priority, just when there are free seats I can fly that class, intercontinental. While people around me were sleeping, I was working on the slides for my talk on Monday.

Registering for the DANTE autumn meeting 2015 PDF Print E-mail
LaTeX Community - Conferences
Written by Stefan_K   
Saturday, 15 August 2015 16:10

At http://www.dante.de/events/Herbst2015/anmeldung.html you can now register to the autumn meeting 2015 of DANTE e.V. It takes place on September 5th at the TU Graz. Besides the member's meeting and the program with talks, there will be an evening gathering the day before, and a tourist program afterwards. Early registering is extremely helpful for the organizers!

The meeting is also open for TeX friends who are not member of DANTE e.V. Participation at the meeting and at the talks is free.

Some TeX friends from Hamburg may possibly get a cheaper flight with me, see remark on my blog. All information regarding place, travel information, and program can be found here.

TUG 2015 - Day 3 - first part PDF Print E-mail
LaTeX Community - Conferences
Written by Stefan Kottwitz   
Saturday, 01 August 2015 15:13

The day 3 was opened by Kaveh Bazargan and Jagath AR. They talked about today's requirements of publishers who demand XML instead of mark-up within text. By the way, Kaveh Bazargan showed issues with XML. He gave examples of proper XML encoding but crazy meaning, such as embedding each letter within XML text or writing a plus-minus sign by a plus symbol with an underline tag. He reviewed the  classic way of a publishing chain, from author to publisher to peer reviewer to copy editor and finally to the typesetter with possible loops. Then he showed the cloud approach, which is not so linear but more star-alike: when publishing in the cloud, the XML file is in the middle while the involved parties all directly work with that file. He showed an online editor on the River Valley Technologies platform which allows editing, reviewing and correcting with a rich online editor. There, the file is always saved in XML and rendered into HTML or PDF on-the-fly. Authors are editing XML, but TeX is used in the background. Specifically, TeX is used for pagination of XML documents and producing high-quality and even enriched PDF output with different styles from the same XML base code. Jagath AR showed some examples of enriched PDF, such as PDFs with several layers for screen color mode, black and white, and CMYK coloring, all in the same PDF file.

Joachim Schrod gave an experience report about TeX in a commercial setting:

TUG 2015 - Day 2 PDF Print E-mail
LaTeX Community - Conferences
Written by Stefan Kottwitz   
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 16:17

Today is another day of the TUG 2015 meeting. See my earlier posts about the previous days.

Pavneet Arora started the first session with a talk about FLUSS, a flow leak monitoring system. I was curious, how this should be related to TeX. The working title, FLUSS, is an acronym. It stands for "Flow leaks unearthed ss" where ss means 2 x sigma. The latter refers to double sigma testing.

His talk actually has little to do with typesetting. But it has to do with TeX. Pavneet Arora considered TeX as a part of the core stack of embedded systems. He used TeX as a sophisticated documentation backend, and for reporting, so in this case not for publishing. So to say, he used the "TeX of Things" to detect water leaks. Why is this important? Like with fire, water damage can be limited by catching them early on. Similarly, you don't have fire detectors at home, but smoke detectors, to get warned at an early stage. He focused on the water supply instead of all possible breaks and leaks along the whole supply way. His application suite is monitoring the flow at the source side, like near the water meter. It's learning water consumption patterns over time, and results in  ConTeXt generated reports. They allow alarming thanks to pattern recognition. The hardware is an embedded system based on a Raspberry Pi. There's a bunch of tools to install - TeX was the easiest part - a great sign of its maturity and its reliable packaging. We saw ConTeXt generated diagrams and how to detect a water leak there. This topic is of high importance to insurance companies, connected to much money. This way, Pavneet Arora showed an interesting and unexpected usage of TeX in the industry.

In the next talk, Tom Hejda spoke about preparing LaTeX document classes and templates for the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU). He spoke about differences in creating classes for journal articles compared to university theses. There, he considered the user's point of view, stated some obvios facts and gave examples. He started with typical usage. The procedures are different:

TUG 2015 - The day before PDF Print E-mail
LaTeX Community - Conferences
Written by Stefan Kottwitz   
Monday, 20 July 2015 14:49

TeX User Group logoThe TUG 2015 conference is currently taking place in Darmstadt, Germany, from 20th to 22nd of July. That's the 36th anual meeting of the international TeX Users Group. DANTE e.V. sponsored the conference fee for its members with 50 Euro for each attendee. I'm sure this great sponsoring helped many TeX friends to come.

I'm working for Lufthansa Industry Solutions, I'm developing and implementing networks for cruise ships. I planned to visit the conference privately. When I told my project team, that I will leave for 3 days, they asked me, why. Conference? TeX? What is this? I explained what TeX is and how I used it in my work. I use TeX as macro language for creating thousands of lines of switch configurations. And I create graphics visualizing physical and logical structure of networks using TeX coding, actually TikZ. What other people point and click with Visio. That convinced my boss to consider the TeX meeting as training, so the company takes my travel costs. He expects that our work in designing and documenting can really benefit, and this is true. So,

LaTeX Cookbook available to pre-order with 35% discount - extended to Oct 31 (print book & ebook) PDF Print E-mail
News - LaTeX
Written by Stefan Kottwitz   
Sunday, 27 September 2015 21:18

Dear LaTeX Community,

after more than a year of work, I finished the LaTeX Cookbook. It's a great moment for me, and I'd like to share it with you.LaTeX Cookbook cover image

It is a collection of useful and interesting recipes. Those are examples with step by step instructions. Each how-to is followed by an explanation of how it works. Additional tuning details follow.

The topics cover most of the common LaTeX fields:
  • Starting with document types such as books, presentations, leaftlets, and posters
  • Shaping and tuning text and fonts
  • Working with images and tables
  • Creating bibliographies, glossaries, and indexes
  • Using PDF specific features
  • Doing math with a focus on advanced tasks such as plotting functions, drawing geometry, and doing actual calculations
  • Creating diagrams such as flowcharts, pie charts, bar charts, and trees
  • Applying LaTeX for various sciences.

Take a look: Table of Contents.

To give you a better look at the style of this book, I made a website for it:

TUG 2015 - Day 3 - second part PDF Print E-mail
LaTeX Community - Conferences
Written by Stefan Kottwitz   
Monday, 10 August 2015 22:32

I'd like to complete my report, sorry for delays due to much work, here's the second part of the final day of TUG 2015.

Following Julien Cretel's talk about functional data structures in TeX, Hans Hagen made a presentation. The main points were

  • How far can you go with TeX?
  • Do you really want it?

Hans Hagen showed fascinating examples, such as TeX rendered text fed into MetaPost for postprocessing and re-rendering by TeX for justification.

LyX 2.1.4 released PDF Print E-mail
News - LaTeX Editors
Written by Stefan Kottwitz   
Saturday, 01 August 2015 09:37

The WYSIWYM LaTeX based editor LyX got a maintenance update, the new version is 2.1.4. Some of the improvements are:

  • There's a new support for PDF forms. An example file "PDF-form.lyx" describes that new feature.
  • If Acrobat Reader is used as PDF viewer, then clicking the view button will now automatically update the PDF view.
  • If ghostscript is installed, low-resolution PDF can be generated, such as for email or web.
  • LyX can be prevented from from loading inputenc via the layout file, since XeTeX and LuaTeX don't require it.
  • Sweave and knitr importers have been added.
  • The math commands \lvert, \rvert, \lVert, and \rVert are now supported
  • Several bugs have been fixed, including some bugs which resulted in a crash. If you had crashed, you may seriously consider updating.

TUG 2015 - Day 1 PDF Print E-mail
LaTeX Community - Conferences
Written by Stefan Kottwitz   
Monday, 20 July 2015 17:07

The TUG 2015 started. In my previous post I wrote, what happens, and some details about my arrival yesterday, and the first evening gathering.

About 9 am, the current president of TUG, Steve Peter, opened the conference with some introduction words.

The topics of today were:

  • PDF: enriching it and making it accessible
  • Unicode: getting it into
  • Past, present and future of TeX, LaTeX and fonts
  • News and announcements

Let's take a look at the presentations.

TeX Live 2015 and MacTeX 2015 released PDF Print E-mail
News - LaTeX Distributions
Written by Stefan_K   
Saturday, 13 June 2015 16:49
TeX Live

TeX Live 2015 has been released. TeX Live is a comprehensive TeX and LaTeX system running on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and other Unix operating systems. For Mac OS X, a special version MacTeX 2015 is available.

Some of the changes:

  • The fixes, which were previously available by explicitly loading the fixltx2e package, are now enabled by default. You still can revert to the old behavior: the new latex release package enables you to switch on backwards compatibility to a chosen release date.
  • A small but useful improvement is a new float storage allocation mechanism. By default, LaTeX could handle 18 floats at a time, a higher number would cause an error. Now, you can say \extrafloats{600} to allow 600 more.
  • Under the hood, it improved the support for Unicode engines.
  • The release uses a new build system.
  • pdfTeX now supports EXIF metadata in JPEG files.
  • The shell script fmtutil has been reimplemented in Perl. Now it works with multiple formats at once, and it’s better customizable.

For more information and download visit


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