Is that an hoax?

Or is it a real wish from D. Knuth?


  • 14
    The proposal is based on a number of claims which might make sense for some commercial mogul to make, but which are absolutely outlandish coming from Knuth: claims that he's a lousy programmer, claims that no-one should trust anything more than 30 months old, claims that they have anticipated all of the possible wishes of the user, etc. This coming from a man who wrote TeX in the first place, and the author of the modern epic saga The Art Of Computer Programming. After 20 minutes or so, it is extremely obvious that it's a hoax. May 26 '11 at 9:12
  • Oh well, that's better :)
    – MP0
    May 26 '11 at 9:44
  • 2
    @Niel: It took you 20 minutes to catch on to the joke? May 26 '11 at 12:30
  • 4
    @Harald: no, I pulled that number out of may hat. Even before he got to the name eee-TECKS <bell ringing> there was a rather implausible list of features. It could be that even his remarks on 0.4pt = 0.39999pt could have been a tip-off if I knew enough TeX-lore, but just at the very beginning it was not obvious. May 26 '11 at 12:38
  • @Niel: That should teach you not to pull numbers out of a hat. Yeah, I admit it took me a while to catch on too, but my numbers will remain in the hat. May 26 '11 at 20:20

It is a joke. Knuth is known for his "professional humor", see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Knuth#Humor.

  • He is hilarious XD I was laughing all the way through XD
    – dingo_d
    May 27 '11 at 16:09
  • 9
    "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."
    – Martin Scharrer
    Jul 20 '11 at 0:06

All i components of Apple are presented in San Francisco, where also the last TUG meeting (32 years of TeX) was held. This was the reason why Knuth introduced the iTeX in his talk with an audio visuell logo ... It was a joke ...

  • 8
    And let's not forget that the bell ringing is also part of the iTeX logo! =) May 26 '11 at 9:57
  • 4
    That is the audio part of the label.
    – user2478
    May 26 '11 at 10:01
  • Oh sorry, I got it now. =) May 26 '11 at 10:37
  • 2
    don't forget the 3d logo-embossed glass bowl part, all set in a hyperbolic plane, where the geometry allows you to put as much content as you want as close together as you want...
    – propaganda
    Jan 14 '12 at 1:33

It's worth documenting that there is another, non-joke, iTeX.

WebTeX was a restricted subset of LaTeX that was designed for rendering as webpages, offering a more sophisticated layout model than CSS. Paul Gartside took a subset of that focussed on rendering mathematics, called it iTeX, and wrote a converter to MathML, which he called itex2mml.

Jacques Distler is currently maintaining itex2mml, and provides documentation of the iTeX language and the itex2mml utility.


Well, there is another non-joke iTeX, an iPad reader for documents prepared with TeX/LaTeX. It's in the iTunes app store, and you can read about it at http://itex.cheswick.com or see my presentation on it at the same conference as Knuth's i(whistle)TeX, but I beat him by two days.

  • Welcome to TeX.sx! You don't have to sign with your name since it automatically appears in the lower right corner of your post.
    – Werner
    Feb 19 '12 at 23:09
  • While it's usually fine to promote one's own products or developments on tex.sx, you should be a little more clear that it's your project.
    – doncherry
    Feb 19 '12 at 23:28
  • 1
    Sorry. I thought the link would suffice, without an excess of self-trumpeting. Feb 20 '12 at 14:16

I think it's a bit late april's fools :)


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