When I first started using TeX, I felt overwhelmed by the myriad of names — BibTeX, XeTeX, LaTeX, XeLaTeX, ConTeXt, LuaTeX, MacTeX, TeXLive — and more. I didn't know the packages from the programs from the distributions, or what begat what.
Since then I've learned, but once in a while I still come across names I don't recognize. I often wonder where I might find a “TeX Family Tree” showing how everything relates along a timeline. I've looked and looked, but have never found anything. So, I decided to bite the bullet and roll my own.
I'm looking for feedback:
- Are the relationships correct?
- Is anything major missing?
- What can be improved?
The chart spans 52 years — all the way back to 1962, when D.E.K. began writing TAOCP — and includes 17 versions of TeX, 12 versions of METAFONT, 17 derivatives of TeX (CommonTeX, Web2C, MLTeX, eTeX, TeX-XeT, TeX--XeT, eTeX, eLaTeX, encTeX, Omega, Aleph, XeTeX, XeLaTeX, ArabXeTeX, ConTeXt, LuaTeX, LuaLaTeX), 3 formats (Plain TeX, AMS-TeX, LaTeX), 7 tools (WEB, CWEB, dvips, pdftex, pdfetex, pdflatex, BibTeX), 8 distributions (PCTeX, DirectTeX, MiKTeX, proTeXit, teTeX, 4AllTeX, TeXLive, MacTeX), and 36 D.E.K. publications (TAOCP, Computers & Typesetting, Literate Programming, and so on). I learned a lot making this.
I included Knuth's writings because (a) I think they're integral to TeX's history and because (b) I find it fascinating how they fit into the overall timeline, epecially the gaps.
If anyone would like to experiment with modifications, please be my guest. The
graphviz source is here.