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.

Since Robin’s retirement, the FAQ have remained available online but essentially maintenance has been ‘in hibernation’. That’s largely because the structure of the sources was tricky: they were designed to be typeset and to give HTML output following scripted conversion. For the ‘new’ team (currently David Carlisle, Stefan Kottwitz, Karl Berry and me) looking after the material, that’s been tricky as we are not editing the sources directly on the server (Robin’s old set up).

To keep the FAQ up-to-date and easy-to-maintain, the sources have been converted to Markdown to allow them to be used in a GitHub Pages set up. The traditional http://www.tex.ac.uk website now redirects to texfaq.org, which will be the canonical site address. You can also go ‘directly’ to the GitHub Pages site, texfaq.github.io. (There are a few final adjustments to make, so at the moment you might get redirected from texfaq.org to texfaq.github.io.)

The aim remains to have a curated set of FAQ, not growing too big and staying authoritative. Of course, the core team appreciate help making that the case: you can access the material on GitHub to log issues or make suggestions for change.

9 thoughts on “The TeX Frequently Asked Question List: New hosting

    • It takes a little while for the various DNS settings to propagate. Stefan activated texfaq.org as the canonical domain yesterday, but the older redirect then had to expire. For me, that’s now happened, but it does depend on your DNS server.

  1. Now that GitHub is sold to microsoft and will be managed to microsoft, GitHub is no longer a safe place for coding and can not be trusted. I have moved all my TeX packages to GitLab and deleted GitHub pages. GitHub provides the same functionality as GitHub plus more. It is time to leave GitHub.

  2. Good point, Vafa. I think the most important move was to convert the FAQ to a format that may serve as an intermediary for everything else to come. Whether you host the material on GitHub or somewhere else comes next. I second that free software should not rely on GitHub or GitHub pages. There is a difference between my personal sources and an ‘official’ project like the UK TeX FAQ. E.g., we could also take it to a wiki hosted at tug.org or we could make the FAQ a part of ctan.org or we could make it a part of the TeX Catalogue which to my mind has become obsolete with the introduction of a proper search on ctan.org. There are a number of options.

  3. Vafa, I see no need to move off github at the present time. Gitlab is as you say an alternative but it’s on github now and working well. Having it on a public repository and build system such as github or gitlab was a major aim of the redesign and conversion so I don’t think it should be on a self hosted system or tug.org or even ctan unless they are really going to offer repository and CI at the scale of github or even gitlab.

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