The history and origins of TeX and its variants, their applications, their supporting software (such as fonts or viewers), and their mythology and heraldry.

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110
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10answers
4k views

How was TeX output visualised on screen, back in the day?

I've been using LaTeX for about two years; I'm only learning TeX now, to get a better understanding of the foundations. In Chapter 6 : Running TeX of his TeXbook (more specifically, on page 23), ...
48
votes
3answers
2k views

TeX family tree with timeline?

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 ...
41
votes
3answers
2k views

$327.68 Knuth reward check

I know something about $327.68 Knuth reward check. However, I cannot find a comprehensive list of people rewarded for finding errors in TeX. I do know, that among them is Bogusław Jackowski (Twice, ...
36
votes
3answers
1k views

Who *doesn't* use e-TeX?

I was just browsing the new questions and noticed egreg's recent answer, in which he uses a certain extension from e-TeX and cautions the reader that it is not compatible with Knuth TeX. And so I ...
31
votes
2answers
1k views

What language is TeX implemented in?

I read on Wikipedia that the first version of TeX was written in SAIL. However, does anyone know what language later versions (i.e the current one) are implemented in?
30
votes
1answer
2k views

Did Knuth actually design the Computer Modern font?

It seems from all the articles I read on the topic that Knuth actually designed the font from ground up. He's a celebrated computer scientist, but was he also a digital calligraphy genius? That's a ...
30
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does TeX have a lion as mascot?

This I have been wondering for years! And where else was I supposed to ask this if not here? Maybe it is not a technical question but it might still interest a great many.
27
votes
5answers
1k views

Historical, stable version archive of packages

The author of marginfix / blockmargin is/was interested in a certain loss of functionality from one version of the marginfix package to the next. Out of interest and curiosity I wanted to see what ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

TeX & Troff a reflection on the history of Computer Typography

I'm interested in relationship between two very important Computer Typography systems Troff and TeX. In particular, I would like to find any statements made by Donald Knuth about the influence (or ...
25
votes
3answers
308 views

Are there good books retracing the history of (La)TeX?

I am interested by books focused on the history of (La)TeX from philosophical point of view. That is to say: no textbook, no introduction to LaTeX for beginners but books describing the model of the ...
15
votes
1answer
273 views

Convert from historic LaTeX-based software called “The Publisher”

I am corresponding with a mathematician colleague who typesets his documents in what is apparently quite old software called "The Publisher". It creates an array of LaTeX related files as part of the ...
14
votes
2answers
705 views

Does italic math originate from TeX?

When I look in old mathematical textbooks from the seventies and before, mathematics is always upright. Their use of italic letters in other contexts, however, shows that this is not because of ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Why couldn't (La)TeX's layout model be as simple as CSS's layout model?

I feel CSS's layout model is simpler than (La)TeX's layout model. At the time Knuth developed TeX, the idea leading to CSS model is a "difficult" things? Or the CSS layout model is not appropriate to ...
12
votes
2answers
278 views

TeX and Turing Award

Leslie Lamport, who created LaTeX, has recently received the prestigious Turing Award (see here and here). An accomplishement in itself, his work on LaTeX is not even the reason why he got the award. ...
10
votes
1answer
585 views

(Why) did the Gyre project fork the URW fonts rather than just extending them?

As I understand it: During the 1980s, the URW++ foundry created clones of the PostScript Core Font Set and gave those clones the following names: ╔════════════════════════╤══════════════════════╗ ║ ...
9
votes
0answers
218 views

High-profile cases of non-compliance with the LaTeX Project Public License?

As I'm getting more and more interested in releasing packages of my own in the future, I just read the LaTeX Project Public License (or LPPL). This document defines, among other things, the rules for ...
7
votes
2answers
271 views

What are the less known TeX like macro-packages?

ConTeXt and Latex are well known. And I'm aware of different engines to process those e.g. XeTeX, pdfTeX, LuaTeX. But on this meta question discussion came up about TeX, plain-TeX, initex. Can ...
7
votes
3answers
253 views

Why does amsmath use fraktur for real and imaginary parts?

Edit: When writing this I was under the impression that this was amsmath's choice. It has now been bought to my attention that it is Knuth's. When was it decided that amsmath would have the real ...
1
vote
1answer
284 views

Why was a lion chosen as LaTeX mascot? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does TeX have a lion as mascot? What was the motivation for choosing a lion as mascot for LaTeX? (Sorry, for not providing an MWE for this question.)