Typography with TeX and LaTeX

## TUG 2012 Reports and LaTeX3 News

August 2nd, 2012 by Stefan Kottwitz

David Latchman has posted daily reports from the TeX User Group conference 2012 in Boston:

Very nice to read what happened at the meeting, who talked and about what. Thanks, David!

Furthermore, a new issue of the LaTeX3 News paper has been published. Here’s a short overview and the link to the issue:

Category: LaTeX3, Conferences, News, Events | No Comments »

## Thanks to our sysadmins! Especially to who maintains a TeX installation.

Juli 27th, 2012 by Stefan Kottwitz

Special thanks go to sysadmins who install and maintain a TeX installation on a server or on client PCs. While often found on university servers, TeX is not so common in business companies, further keeping it up-to-date requires some work. So, if you are lucky and one maintains a TeX installation for you, it’s a good day for sending thanks to him. It can even motivate him to update to the latest TeX Live 2012, if not yet done.

Category: News, Events | No Comments »

## LaTeX and Graphics - Contest contributions

Juni 22nd, 2012 by Stefan Kottwitz

On LaTeX-Community.org, 10 authors have sent contributions to the “LaTeX and Graphics” contest.

Did you like an article? Or many? It would be great if you would

• comment on it - what you liked, what further ideas do you have about this topic. Feedback is very welcome by authors. If you already read an article, it’s still a good idea to visit the article again and to comment on it.
• blog about it - if you are a blogger. Tell your readers, which article you liked, what do you think about the contributions.

It will be hard to decide, which authors would be the winners. You can help: show which contributions are the most liked by you!

Here are the nominees - please vote, comment and share!

Did you like the contest and some some contributions? Let the authors know!

Let’s review some time, then we will know who has won the prizes.

To have a quick glance, what the contributions show to us:

Category: News, Events, Graphics | No Comments »

## LaTeX Contest - four days left

Juni 16th, 2012 by Stefan Kottwitz

The currently running “LaTeX and Graphics” article competition on LaTeX-Community.org will close on 20/06/12. Until now, very few users told me that they would make a contribution. Which means, there’s a good chance to win one of the gnuplot books.

Do you …

• … have a blog you would like to mention?
• … maintain a web site, people may visit?
• … wrote a LaTeX related package, you would like to introduce to readers?
• … would like to show what is possible with LaTeX, today?

This contest could be a nice opportunity for these points and more. Just add some lines about you as the author and your website or your software.

Even a small blog-like post would be very welcome. Feel free to contact me via email to stefan@latex-community.org or via the contact form. I can create an account for you both on the main and on the development server, so that you could even check the final layout before posting.

Category: News, Events, Graphics | No Comments »

## Contest on LaTeX-Community.org - Win a gnuplot Book

Juni 4th, 2012 by Stefan Kottwitz

LaTeX-Community.org has teamed up with Packt Publishing to organize a contest. Two users stand a chance to win a copy of the new book on gnuplot, the newly published gnuplot Cookbook written by Lee Phillips.

To enter the contest, write a small article for publishing on LaTeX-Community.org. The topic of this contest is: LaTeX and Graphics.

From the book’s web page:

gnuplot Cookbook – it will help you master gnuplot. Start using gnuplot immediately to solve your problems in data analysis and presentation. Quickly find a visual example of the graph you want to make and see a complete, working script for producing it. Learn how to use the new features in gnuplot 4.4. Find clearly explained, working examples of using gnuplot with LaTeX and with your own computer programming language.

You will learn to plot basic 2d to complex 3d plots, annotate from simple labels to equations, integrate from simple scripts to full documents and computer progams. You will be taught to annotate graphs with equations and symbols that match the style of the rest of your text, thus creating a seamless, professional document. You will be guided to create a web page with an interactive graph, and add graphical output to your simulation or numerical analysis program.

This text is available in German. Dieser Text ist auch in Deutsch verfügbar.

Category: News, Events, Graphics | No Comments »

## Document Freedom Day

März 28th, 2012 by Stefan Kottwitz

Today is the “Document Freedom Day”. Today, we can celebrate information accessibility, and we could raise awareness of open standards, which mean document formats which

• can fully publicly used without constraints,
• don’t have dependencies on formats or protocols that are not open,
• are legally and technically unlimited in utilisation,
• are maintained and further developed independently of any single vendor
• and are available in various implementations by competing vendors or just freely available.

Let’s look at TeX and LaTeX. The source document format is plain text, usable on any platform. Only the encoding can be a small issue between operating systems or editors, which can be handled by freely available conversion tools. Furthermore, Unicode text is commonly supported today. But ASCII still works everywhere, while Unicode is convenient.

And the output? Well, PDF is commonly chosen today and widely supported, though I would not call it an open standard, just in parts. However, we have the source, and we still have the DVI format. I wish there were better onscreen display programs.

With nonfree document formats, TeX and LaTeX would hardly be as useful as today, compatible and cross-platform. I can work with my up to 16 year old LaTeX documents in best quality on any hardware today - try it with so old Word or Works files.

For general information regarding free documents and open standards, have a look at documentfreedom.org.

Category: News, Events | 3 Comments »

## DANTE 2012 Report

März 11th, 2012 by Stefan Kottwitz

The 46th general meeting of the German language TeX users group DANTE e.V. (DANTE 2012) was held in Leipzig , from March 7 until March 9. It was hosted by the HTWK Leipzig, the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences, and supported by le-tex publishing services.

Stack Exchange confirmed that they would cover travel costs for me. Luckily that’s not very much, as I did not need to fly and neither to book a hotel room. I just rent a car, for traveling from Hamburg to Leipzig and back. Overnight I stayed in my grandmother’s house, in a village near Leipzig.

On Tuesday, March 6, I got the rental car. I took a small one, a FIAT Punto Evo, small and economical regarding fuel. Each day I took the train from Eilenburg to Leipzig, the ticket included tram fare in Leipzig and was just about 1 euro more than the tram ticket. So it’s better than taking the car to the town.

### The conference venue

The meeting was held at the Lipsius building of the HTWK, just 15 minutes away from the main train station, if you take the tram. We got two seminar rooms in the second floor. One room was for the talks, with a video projector, the other room was usually frequented during breaks where we had coffee and some fruits and sweets.

The HTWK and le-tex provided WiFi for us during all days.

### The attendees

Since it’s been a meeting of DANTE, nearly all attendees were members of DANTE e.V.. I’m also a member. There were quite a few attendees we know from TeX.SX: Herbert Voss, Patrick Gundlach, Martin Schröder, Uwe Ziegenhagen and me. Each of us gave a talk, Herbert and Patrick made several each.

### Day One

I got up at 6 am, had a coffee, left at 7 am to catch the train for arriving at 8 am in Leipzig. So I did each of the three days. The HTWK building was easy to find, so I registered at 8:30 am and from 9 pm on I could listen to the talks.

The president of DANTE e.V.,Volker RW Schaa, opened the conference. The first talks were by Günter Partosch and Axel Strübing, who spoke about requirements of tagged PDF and possible ways of achieving the goal of producing barrier-free PDF documents using TeX. Both are working for le-tex, and it’s great that they shared their expertise with us.

Afterwards Thomas Ferber showed how to use hyperref for designing PDF documents and how to benefit from the capabilities of the Portable Document Format. Then Herbert Voss showed ways to produce animations. One is just producing a lot of PDF pages and showing them in quick succession, but there are further ways, as he demonstrated, using JavaScript and LaTeX packages such as animate.

We had a break for lunch, some of us including me took their lunch at an Indian restaurant. Lunch was good, and the menu card was funny. TeX friend, have a look at this font sample from the card:

Specifically, have a look at the kerning and notice the unequal distances between the letters. Just in the case you did not care about kerning of non-TeX-users…

After lunch, Marting Schröder talked about the status of TeX and current developments. He dealt with the new engines, BibTeX and biblatex developments, and the world of fonts for use with TeX. Jean-Michel Hufflen spoke about biblatex und MlBibTeX, and after a coffee break Martin Sievers gave a tutorium about cross-referencing with LaTeX with a focus on the cleveref package.

Finally, Herbert Voss shared his experiences regarding using LaTeX in academic education with us, with a focus on Bachelor students. It was a surprise for me to learn that many of today’s students have difficulties with installing programs and using the command line, which is a bit of a barrier when starting to work with LaTeX.

### Day Two

After lunch, Thomas Ferber und Dominik Wagenführ talked about producing EPUB from LaTeX sources. Dominik Wagenführ is the responsible editor of the journal “freies magazin“, a monthly journal dealing with free software, Open Source and Linux. He explained the way how they produce an EPUB version of the journal from the LaTeX sources. Generally, converting from PDF to EPUB seems hardly to be possible today if you would like to get good results.

Patrick Gundlach talked about database publishing with LuaTeX, automated production of documents from database content. He explained a solution using the “speedata Publisher“. This software is based on LuaTeX, and it is available both as Open Source and under a commercial license.

Herbert Voß made his second presentation, it was about OpenType and TrueType fonts for text and math with XeTeX and LuaTeX. Finally, Christof Meigen explained how to use Lua libraries in TeX documents. For example, he showed a simple and quick way using LuaTeX and wxLua for adding a graphical user interface to documents, with free text areas, choice boxes, and more. Depending on the interactive input, a PDF document would be created. Further examples are luasql for querying databases and lua-curl for accessing web services.

The attendees met for dinner at the evening in the “Pilot” restaurant. I could not be there, as I had to catch the train back.

### Day Three

The last day begun with the second talk of Patrick Gundlach. He spoke about programming with LuaTeX. Specifically, Patrick showed how to program LuaTeX on node list level, what nodes are and how to manipulate node lists. During this, he introduced the new package lua-visual-debug.

Then I made a presentation about TeX online communities, such as discussion groups, mailing lists and web forums. I introduced the TeX Stack Exchange site, and I showed some of its key features which make it a very good choice for developing and sharing TeX content and for building a TeX knowledge base. This talk was similar to the one I gave at the TUG 2011 in Kerala, India, just in German for the German speaking TeX users. The English version can be found here: Bringing together TeX users online.

Uwe Ziegenhagen made the next talk about designing and producing letter envelopes and photo books with LaTeX with pdfLaTeX and ocgtools. Philipp Poll reported about the progress of the Libertine Open Fonts project, specifically about the development of a monospaced font version.

Finally, Martin Kraetke talked about the role of TeX in the le-tex company. le-tex also offered a tour through the company later, and there was a tour visiting the Museum
of the Printing Arts Leipzig
on Friday afternoon.

As on the previous days, there was an evening meeting. I just could not attend the evening chats.

On Saturday, I went home to Hamburg. This was a very interesting meeting, where we could listen to insightful talks, and it was a great opportunity to meet TeX users who I did not know yet in person.

Thanks to DANTE e.V., le-tex and the HTWK for the great organization.

Category: News, Events | No Comments »

## DANTE 2012: German language TeX users meeting next week

März 3rd, 2012 by Stefan Kottwitz

The 46th general meeting of the German language TeX users group DANTE e.V. will be held from March 7 to March 9, 2012, at the HTWK Leipzig, the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences. There will be an evening meeting already on Tuesday, March 6 in the evening.

The program will include talks about

• Using hyperref for designing PDF documents and using the capabilities of the Portable Document Format
• Producing EPUB from LaTeX sources
• Database publishing with LuaTeX
• Programming with LuaTeX
• biblatex und MlBibTeX
• TeX Online Communities
• Using Lua libraries within TeX documents
• Producing accessible PDF documents with TeX
• The status of the Libertine Open Fonts Projekt
• Current TeX status and developments
• Creating cross-references with LaTeX
• Producing animations
• OpenType and TrueType fonts for text and math with XeTeX and LuaTeX
• Using LaTeX in academic education
• Design and production of letter envelopes and photo books

For more information concerning location, registration, accommodation and program visit the announcement on the DANTE homepage.

I will go to this meeting and I will give a presentation on Friday, as it’s scheduled in the meeting program.

This text is available in German. Dieser Text ist auch in Deutsch verfügbar.

Category: News, Events | No Comments »

## Merry Christmas!

Dezember 24th, 2011 by Stefan Kottwitz

This Christmas tree has been created by Mikko Heiskanen with this code:

\documentclass{article} \usepackage{tikz} \usetikzlibrary{scopes,svg.path,shapes.geometric,shadows} \begin{document} \begin{tikzpicture}[ mystar/.style={star, minimum size=2cm, star point ratio=2.5, shade, thick, line join=round, color=yellow!80!black, draw=red!20!black, top color=yellow!80!white, bottom color=yellow!60!black}, mytree/.style={scale=0.5, rotate=180, draw=green!60!black, thick, line join=round, inner color=green!60!yellow, outer color=green!50!black}, myball/.style={shade, ball color=#1, circular drop shadow={ shadow xshift=0pt, shadow yshift=-.5ex, fill=green!40!black}} ] {[mytree] \shadedraw svg "M355,430 q90,10 105,-85 30,0 50,-30 20,30 50,30 50,-20 100,0 10,88 105,85 -45,90 -205,25 Q400,520 355,430"; \shadedraw svg "M380,325 q83,10 105,-80 25,0 35,-30 20,25 40,30 20,-10 35,-25 20,20 40,25 25,90 105,82 -15,50 -120,15 -30,-2 -60,12 -30,0 -52,-28 C490,370 380,360 380,325"; \shadedraw svg "M435,225 q65,-8 90,-70 35,40 70,0 25,60 90,70 -30,52 -90,5 -36,48 -73,-3 C520,254 445,265 435,225"; \shadedraw svg "M470,139 q50,5 90,-80 50,90 90,80 -30,30 -50,20 -40,45 -78,0 Q500,170 470,139"; } %\shadedraw svg[scale=0.5,rotate=180] %"M460,532 q50,-8 q77,-45 v-20 a20,13 0 1 1 48,0 v20 q30,40 77,45"; %pgf/tikz doesn't like the arc operation, as stated in manual   \node[mystar] at (-9.85,-1) {$\lambda$};   \shade[myball=blue] (-9.7,-2.2) circle (.2cm); \shade[myball=red] (-9.2,-3.8) circle (.2cm); \shade[myball=green] (-10.3,-4) circle (.4cm); \shade[myball=yellow] (-8.95,-5.4) circle (.4cm); \shade[myball=red] (-10.7,-6.1) circle (.4cm); \shade[myball=blue] (-10.8,-5) circle (.2cm); \shade[myball=yellow] (-9.5,-6.7) circle (.2cm); \shade[myball=green] (-8.3,-7.6) circle (.4cm); \shade[myball=yellow] (-11.7,-7.6) circle (.4cm); \shade[myball=blue] (-10.5,-7.8) circle (.2cm); \end{tikzpicture} \end{document}

Further trees based using TikZ and pgfplots, using decorations and L-System fractals are here: Christmas trees with TikZ.

Category: TeX.SX, Events, pgf/TikZ | No Comments »

## TUG 2011 Reports

Oktober 23rd, 2011 by Stefan Kottwitz

Daily reports on the TeX Users Group Meeting 2011 can be found on tex.blogoverflow.com:

Now also online: the presentation on TeX Online Communities.

Category: TeX User Group, News, Events | No Comments »