Yesterday I read the LaTeX2e-News of April 2017. At first I tried it using a smart phone, then with a tablet. The news don’t appear as text on the project’s web site, there’s just a link. It has to be read as a PDF file, in US letter size (8,5 x 11 inch) format, non-tagged, twocolumn. If one is able to read it scrolling to the left and right, one still needs to scroll far back above and to the right, at the end of a column. That’s laborious to me. And it’s just simple text with a few headings. It doesn’t contain any tables or figures or bulleted lists. No reason that it really needs LaTeX.

The TUGboat TeX journal is published as untagged letter size twocolumn PDF too. But this is for printing, a readable print version is a good purpose. Further formats would require additional work on some shoulders. But a typesetting system such as LaTeX should allow reformatting without breaking everything. TUGboats as single column e-journals (preferably without page breaks) would be a good option specifically for members with electronic membership.

The LaTeX news are not delivered on paper, I guess hardly anybody prints them for reading but reads on screen. After wondering about the format I just think, it’s done that way to be compatible with the TUGboat for easy inclusion.

Well, I hope TeX and LaTeX will make some progress regarding reflowable output. I was so adventurous to try reflowing the ltnews document with the Adobe Reader for single-column reading, and I got:

The PDF reader doesn’t see spaces, obviously because TeX doesn’t put explicit spaces between words, but inserts a distance. In the development towards accessible PDF, there may already be a solution for this, similar to \pdfinterwordspaceon with pdfTeX.

18. April 2017 by stefan