Some TeX Developments

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.

Before coffee

The first talk of the day came from S. K. Venkatesan, focussing on his WeTeX tool, and the link to countability of computing problems.

We then moved to Paulo Cereda (on behalf of Susanne Raab), looking at the TikZducks package. He started by pointing out that whilst drawing ducks is fun, there is serious coding behind it. He showed us a range of examples of how keyval settings allow a wide range of (wacky) customisation of duck drawings. A particular highlight was rendering of Don Knuth as a TikZduck.

After the break

Once we’d all refuelled, Jaeyoung Choi took up the podium to describe work on using MetaFont directly inside FreeType. He laid out the advantages of MetaFont, and the problems for use by font designers. He then moved to look at the particular challenges faced in developing CJK fonts: the very large number of characters, and resulting significant time/cost investment required. With modern computing power, this can be solved using MetaFont to parametrise this large number of glyphs. Jaeyoung demonstrated a GUI which allows control of the appearance of characters in an (almost) interactive way. He then moved on to look at how to integrate MetaFont directly into the TrueType rasteriser.

The final talk came from Will Robertson on fontspec and unicode-math. He started by showing us some issues in the fonts in books for children, before looking over unicode-math. He showed how it handles complex maths, allowing re-use of copied material and changing the style of output. He then looked at the development approach he’s taken in ‘cleaning up’ unicode-math and fontspec. He covered various aspects of the expl3/l3build/Git(Hub) workflow he’s now perfected. He then moved on to fontspec, talking about the background, current interfaces and possible future developments. It was great final talk: wide-ranging, thought-provoking and fun.

With the formal business done, we headed to the roof of IMPA for the traditional conference photography. After a lunch break, it was off for most of us to the excursion to Sugarloaf Mountain, and the end of the meeting proper.