Arara: now even easier to use

A while ago I posted about Arara, a new tool to allow automated compilation of (La)TeX documents. As I said then, the big advantage of Arara is that each document can be set up to follow distinct rules which are part of the document itself, rather than being part of the tool. Development of Arara has continued at some pace, and it’s now available to download with a cross-platform installer. The bundle includes pre-built rules for common cases and an option to add to the system path (to make using it easier). So I’d expect a lot of people to try Arara out: it really is a very clear approach to automation.

LaTeX and Friends: The Motion Picture

Earlier in the year, a new guide to LaTeX was published: LaTeX and Friends by Marc van Dongen. I think the book is pretty good: I wrote a preface for it! Marc has now produced a short video promoting the book itself but also LaTeX more generally. The first five or so minutes concentrate on LaTeX, then the rest of the video moves on to how his book highlights particular areas. It’s certainly worth taking a look, not only for the content but also as the video itself is very well produced.

A first pass at a physics style for biblatex

I’ve just uploaded a first attempt at biblatex-phys to CTAN: give it a day or so to be mirrored around the world or pick it up from the BitBucket development site. I’ve based the style on REVTeX, which seems to show that the AIP and APS use more-or-less the same style with a few tiny variations. So I’ve provided one style and used some options to control the output. I’m sure there will be a few rough edges, so at the moment I’ve set the version as 0.9, meaning that there may well be adjustments before a truly usable release. However, I’d hope people pick this up and test it: that’s the only way to improve it!

TeX Live 2012

The TeX Users Group today released TeX Live 2012, the TeX distribution used by many Unix and Windows users and the basis for MacTeX. This year’s new features are very much evolutionary, with perhaps the highlight being support for multiple repositories (thus making using TLContrib easier to use). As always, TeX Live 2012 has been in pretest for some time, and works very nicely. (If you’ve been using the pretest, there is no need to reinstall.)