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.

The analysis is now in, and the result is clear: every issue except the current one is now publicly accessible. The reason is simple: most members will continue to join TUG even with direct access to TUGboat for free. Speaking personally, I like the print version, and I’m happy to pay for it. I’m also very mindful that we need TUG well beyond TUGboat, so I’m very happy with the decision.

Lets hope we see more people reading TUGboat, and joining TUG (and using TeX!) as a result.

TUG Membership

While TeX and all of the supporting ideas are free (both in monetary terms and intellectually), supporting that is a lot of effort from a range of volunteers and hard cash for parts of the infrastructure behind it. A key component of making all of that work is TUG: the worldwide TeX user group. TUG is the central point for co-ordinating a range of activities: running the TUG conference series, supporting TeX development, producing TeX Live and hosting mailing lists, to name a few.

Those of us in TUG have recently had a mail from the President pointing to a slightly concerning trend: a slow but perceptible drop in membership. That doesn’t mean there are fewer TeX users about: the accessibility of modern TeX systems means that there are a lot of TeX users (see for example the popularity of the TeX StackExchange site). That accessibility means that users don’t need to join a user group to use TeX, so there is something of a challenge.

To encourage people to take up membership, and of course take advantage of the benefits, TUG have launched a membership campaign. The aim is to encourage existing members to look out for new recruits, and of course to remind us that TUG is only as strong as its membership. So if you are a member, remind your fellow TeX users to join TUG, and if you are not in TUG: why not?

TUG 2009 Videos

For those of us who couldn’t make TUG 2009, the excellent people at River Valley Technologies have recorded the talks. They are appearing a few at a time, and to quote the site:

Talks will be uploaded as post-processing is completed. Please note that we had some technical problems on day 1, so they may take longer to prepare.

I’m sure we can wait a little while for them to appear: I’ll certainly be taking a look over the next few days at what’s on offer.