beamer developments

I’ve been looking after beamer for a few years, largely ‘by accident’ (this seems to happen quite a lot). Relatively recently, I moved the code from BitBucket to GitHub, largely because there’s a slow drift there for LaTeX projects. The advantage of that is the chance to pick up additional help.

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that over the last few months there have been a lot of beamer check-ins from Louis Stuart. He’s doing excellent work on tackling a lot of tricky beamer bugs, and I hope this will mean a better user experience. Of course, changing a complex product like beamer does have some risks, and so it’s also important to get the release set up working smoothly. To that end, I’ve migrated from some custom Makefile structures to using l3build (with some new features in the latter to help). That should mean a more regular release schedule.  It also means we can integrate testing into the coding: currently there is just the one test, but I’d welcome additions!

l3build development picks up the pace

The LaTeX team have over the past three years created l3build, a ‘proper’ tool which takes our previous testing and release scripts and converts them into some that can be used more widely of LaTeX developers. I talked about the early work some time ago, and Frank Mittelbach and Will Robertson also wrote about it for TUGBoat.

Promoting l3build as a general tool means that new ideas come up, and we’ve been working on that (as well as other things) quite a bit. To keep developments clear, we’ve recently moved the l3build code to a new home on GitHub. This means it’s now separate from the main LaTeX3 repository, but that the history is clearer. This change has meant new ideas have come ‘out of the woodwork’, and have started accumulating in the issue tracker. It looks like an exciting time for l3build: I’m expecting more features to appear and for that to help new developers pick it up as their release technology. Hopefully the result will be more well-designed and tested LaTeX code.