# Tag Info

80

The biggest change has been that now pdftex is the default engine for latex. However, unless you write packages, you do not need to be aware of the differences. There is also a lot of momentum in LaTeX3, but most of the code is used behind the scenes by other packages. Again, unless you are a package writer, you do not need to learn anything new here. Many ...

53

Aditya has mentioned packages, and Jan has mentioned engines, but there has also been lots of infrastructure developments that make dealing with LaTeX more convenient: A new cross-platform editor, TeXworks, that (I think) is the easiest way to get started with LaTeX because of its simple interface and embedded PDF viewer For TeX Live, an update mechanism ...

45

At present, the 'usable' bits of LaTeX3 are: The expl3 language. This provides a much more 'programming-like' language than using TeX primitives plus LaTeX internals. The language is still fluid (I have some changes I'm pushing, but the rest of the team are not so sure), but the general shape is there. The idea is to continue to extend expl3 to add more ...

32

Maybe another thing to mention is that thanks to new engines, like xetex and luatex, we now have access to many more fonts than before, and it is possible to use many features of the OT fonts. I am not sure what is the timeline, and how much of this was available five years ago, though. I only became aware of this relatively recently.

27

Citing the CTAN LaTeX entry: LaTeX is a widely-used macro pack­age for TeX, pro­vid­ing many ba­sic doc­u­ment for­mat­ing com­mands ex­tended by a wide range of pack­ages. It is a de­vel­op­ment of Les­lie Lam­port's LaTeX 2.09, and su­per­seded the older sys­tem in June 1994. The ba­sic dis­tri­bu­tion is cat­a­logued sep­a­rately, at ...

26

To the best of my knowledge all TeX projects are essentially volunteer efforts with some small financial support through donations via the TeX user groups. As far as the development of LaTeX2e is concerned, that was largely financed through 3 people donating 50% of their royalties for the LaTeX Companion book to the project --- however, in any case, it was ...

25

From a slightly different angle, I would add this very site, which had known major growth for its first year.

19

With respect to the first part of the question, in words of Leslie Lamport: In the early 80s, I was planning to write the Great American Concurrency Book. I was a TeX user, so I would need a set of macros. I thought that, with a little extra effort, I could make my macros usable by others. Don Knuth had begun issuing early releases of the ...

18

See my presentation on TeX in the 21st century. And if you find it interesting, please upvote this answer.

18

Package hologo supports \hologo{<logo>} inside \csname. This form generates an ASCII string: \documentclass[a4paper]{article} \usepackage[vmargin=20mm]{geometry} \usepackage{hologo} \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} \usepackage[variablett]{lmodern} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \newcommand*{\hologoEntry}[3]{% \ifx\\#2\\% \texttt{% ...

14

Besides biblatex (already mentioned by Aditya), bibliography management has also been advanced by biber which is in the process of replacing bibtex/bibtex8 as backend program. biber (which needs biblatex as LaTeX frontend) provides full unicode support and does away with bibtex's capacity issues. Since 2011, biber is included in TeXLive and MiKTeX.

11

The TeX project I work on (http://speedata.github.io/publisher/) is a purely commercial driven venture (but open source). Is is in the strict sense a TeX project, but not recognized as such, since it is not in any way compatible with LaTeX, ConTeXt or anything similar. The aim is not in preparing documents as we know but database driven catalogs, price ...

10

What is currently the most modern way of TeX-based typesetting? It should include microtypographic features, UTF-8 support, preferably OTF fonts and compatibility with most basic classes like KOMA/memoir and packages such as pgfplots and biblatex with the use of biber. Apologies if this answer is a bit tongue-in-cheek. The most "modern" from my ...

10

I know everyone is excited about LuaTeX but as I don't know Lua I have been enjoying PerlTeX, which is probably only about 5 years old. (I see a date in 2006) That said, Beamer/TikZ/PGF is incredible and is so huge in scope that it cannot be mentioned enough. The pgffor command for nice for-loops is worth it in itself, and pgfkeys for key-value pairs, helps ...

10

Not LaTeX specific, but to me the only relevant new development in TeX world is LuaTeX and whatever is built around it (notably ConTeXt MkIV). Well, if not for LuaTeX I'd not be using *TeX at all myself.

9

From a practical perspective, I guess a major change is that 5 years ago, it seemed that most people were still using latex + dvips + ps2pdf, and some people still preferred PostScript to PDF. Nowadays, almost everyone just runs pdflatex. (Of course, in part this is connected to the introduction of pdftex as the default engine, tikz as a replacement for ...

7

There is another cross-platform "IDE" for LaTeX (or even just plain TeX called TeXMaker. I guess I like it a lot since it reminds me so much of a typical coding IDE. Has a lot of command-completion, real-time spell-checking, ability to open a second file (read-only) in a side-by-side window to make it easier to copy and paste from another document etc. I am ...

7

About the open source, I think we can listen to the FSF (Free Software Fundation) and licenses and comment about them: LaTeX Project Public License 1.3a (#LPPL-1.3a) We have not written a full analysis of this license, but it is a free software license, with less stringent requirements on distribution than LPPL 1.2 (described next). It is still ...

7

I would recommend you read up on The LaTeX project public license (LPPL), which may be accessed from http://www.latex-project.org/lppl/. Here's an excerpt from that site: The LaTeX project public license is a free software license. The most recent version of the LPPL is version 1.3c. The latest version, in plain text, can always be found at ...

6

To expand on @Mico's answer: TeX and (base) LaTeX are just a (small) part of the hundreds of macro packages and programs that make up a LaTeX installation, like MikTeX or TeXlive. Each piece is under it's own license, mostly LPPL, but there is stuff under other licenses. The vast majority is under free/open licenses, but you'd have to check each piece to ...

6

I know this doesn't answer the question of translit, but if I've understood correctly, ePub is just CSS and HTML and whatnot. So a feed to fontsquirrel's generator for Latin Modern Roman, and out pops woffs and eots and whatnot. So: <!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <title>style</title> <meta charset="UTF-8" /> ...

4

Formerly complex macros often had a lot of parameters and optional parameters. It was difficult to learn and remember the order of all these parameter. Only some packages like graphicx have had <key>=<value> syntax. But current packages often use <key>=<value> syntax not only for parameters of macros but even for package options and ...

4

tabu is a nice later addition, hopefully a way out of the jungle of various tabular improvements.

1

As noted above, biblatex(/biber) is a fantastic improvement over classic bibtex. Most notably it provides proper unicode and multi-language support and a sane "latex-ish" way to define and customise citation and bibliography styles (a welcome change from the backwards stack-based language used in bibtex style files, which still hurts my brain when thinking ...

1

Not that I know. The LPPL license states that work released under this license can distributed and modified with few restrictions, mainly that changes must be stated and modifed copies must be distributed to owners of the original copies, but other than that since it's an open license I do not think that cases can be taken to court. The LPPL license doesn't ...

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