When I stumbled upon
tabu some time ago it looked quite interesting on a first glance and I intended to learn more about it when I have the time.
But, in the comments section of this question posted on the new german question and answer site
texwelt.de Herbert Voß wrote that the
tabu package is obsolete in its current version (thereby citing the package author) and is not actively maintained anymore.
What are the implications for the usability of the package?
Should I refrain from investing time to learn
tabu and consider some other packages for the creation of tables instead?
When I stumbled upon
Update July 2022
A possible modern alternative could be
tabularray which was introduced in 2021.
Update January 2019
Due to issues of
tabu with recent changes in the LaTeX kernel, maintenance of the package has been taken up by a working group at tabu-fixed/tabu.
The aim of the working group is to fix the issues. Further development of the package is not planned at the moment.
In a thread on
comp.text.tex the author of
tabu stated that bug fixes to the current version (2.8) of
tabu will not be taken under consideration:
Well, to be honest, the time of bug reports will come with the next release.
See Incompatibility between verbatim and tabu? (Danger of using \scantokens in a package) for the motivation of Bruno Le Floch's question.
I asked back
So you're telling that the current version of tabu is completely unmaintained?
The answer was
In three letters, with no ligature: yes!
To make the story short, here's an excerpt from a subsequent message (the first line is my question):
So old documents written with the previous commands of tabu will cease to work? Wonderful.
I don't care. I want to built tabulars without any measurement or guess, with a maximum of features and a powerful interface.
The conclusions I can draw is that using
tabu in its current version is dangerous, because its author has announced incompatible changes for the next version. And he doesn't care if people using his package are thrown under the bus.
If somebody still stumbles upon this question: I used in autumn 2021
longtabu, which is a part of the package
tabu, for a long table in a project, and when somebody who wanted to learn LaTeX asked me the next year for the sourcecode, I discovered that my sourcecode was broken due to
longtabu, which didn't work anymore. I had to fix it by replacing the table with
Yes, of course it was already known in 2021 that the package was abandoned, and it was a beginner's mistake. Don't make my mistake, don't use abandoned packages if there are alternatives!