Some TeX Developments

December 9, 2018

Floating point calculations in LaTeX

TeX does not include any ‘native’ support for floating point calculations, but that has not stopped lots of (La)TeX users wanting to do sums (and more complicated things) in their document. As TeX is Turing complete, it’s not a surprise that there are several ways to implement calculations. For end users, the differences between these are not important: what is key is what to use. Here, I’ll give a bit of background, look at the various possibilities, then move on to give a recommendation.

December 6, 2018

Bringing XeTeX into line

In parallel with work on the \expanded primitive, I’ve been working recently on bringing the ‘utility’ primitives in XeTeX into line with those in pdfTeX, pTeX and upTeX.

December 6, 2018

A 'new' primitive: \expanded

In recent years, development of pdfTeX has been very limited, with the v1.40 branch now being around for over 10 years. However, in the past there were plans for a v1.50 branch, and some code was actually written. One primitive that was fully coded-up at that time was \expanded. The idea of this is pretty simple: it carries out full expansion like \message (and almost) like \edef), but it is still expandable. For example, try

November 26, 2018

Blog on the move

I’ve been writing Some TeX Developments for ten years now, starting off on WordPress.com before moving to a self-hosted WordPress set up. All of this time, I’ve stuck with WordPress as it’s a very powerful and flexible system. However, it’s got some downsides too. In particular, as it is dynamic, database-driven, system, the pages are created each time someone requests them. That’s great for things like supporting comments, but it means there’s a non-trivial amount of work done each time someone views a page. That turns into a real cost when you are paying for your own hosting. My most recent hosts were really good for support, but I needed enough CPU cycles to push me into the ‘non-trivial’ cost bracket. At the same time, a dynamic site means that there’s always a security risk.

October 20, 2018

TUGboat goes (almost) open access

Members of TUG might have seen a survey from the Board asking about the status of TUGboat. To date, the journal issues have been available online one year after publications. The Board were interested in how going open-access would affect the number of members.

July 22, 2018

TUG2018: Day three

The final day of TUG2018 followed the conference banquet, which of course meant that there were a few tired (or missing!) delegates.

July 21, 2018

TUG2018: Day Two

The second day of TUG2018 picked up with a few announcements for those us here at IMPA, before we moved on to the business end.

July 20, 2018

TUG2018: Day one

Most of the foreign delegates for TUG2018 met up by last night at the conference hotel, and chats over breakfast continued. Then it was down to the minibus to head to the venue, IMPA.

July 19, 2018

TUG2018 Preview

The TUG2018 meeting starts tomorrow in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, and the delegates have begun to collect together (many of us are staying at the Everest Rio Hotel). I’ll be trying to write up notes each day to summarise the talks, discussions, etc., but you’ll also be able to watch live. There’s also a chat room on TeX StackExchange dedicated to the meeting.

June 3, 2018

The TeX Frequently Asked Question List: New hosting

The TeX Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) List has been a fixture of the TeX world for many years. It started out as a regular column in the (now dormant) UK-TUG journal Baskerville, before being taken up as an essentially one-person project by Robin Fairbairns.


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