21

It seems like the times package is having difficulty not being used.

The pack­age is now ob­so­lete, re­placed by the math­ptmx pack­age, which sup­ports Times Ro­man text and (mostly) match­ing math­e­mat­ics.

of course mathptmx is also deprecated

The pack­age is part of psnfss, but is reck­oned to be ob­so­lete. Users are rec­om­mended to switch to us­ing newtx in its place.

I look in formatting guidelines for CS conference papers. And so often they say make sure to \usepackage{times}. I normally ignore it, because often the conference is just reusing old instructions from many years earlier.

But today I was reading instructions that clearly were updated for the current year, and it still instructed to \usepackage{times}.

My questions are:

  • Will anyone actually be able to tell if I use newtx, instead of times ?
  • Is it worth writing to conference organizers asking the to amend their guidelines.
  • if so is there an authoritative statement (that is more substantial than the paragraph on CTAN) saying that it is deprecated and why?
  • Is it better to wait until after a conference has occurred that gave the time recommendation, then contact the organizers of the next year's conference?
20
  • 6
    I don't know if it is on topic but it's a good question in general, not only for times package. As a beginner I think to inform on CTAN is not enough. May be have an "obsolete" warning when compiled and when inquired with texdoc should be useful.
    – CarLaTeX
    Jun 10, 2017 at 4:24
  • 3
    Can't we modify times such that it simply loads math­ptmx? Jun 10, 2017 at 5:52
  • 8
    @UweZiegenhagen times and mathptmx have different behaviour. It is imho not okay to change this. If someone uses times it is his choice and one shouldn't secretly try to educate him. Jun 10, 2017 at 7:34
  • 7
    It's not possible to modify either times or mathptmx, because so many old documents were legitimately using them.
    – egreg
    Jun 10, 2017 at 8:24
  • 3
    @egreg They could be modified to give warnings, though, as long as the typeset result doesn't change.
    – cfr
    Jun 10, 2017 at 13:44

1 Answer 1

9

The original motivation for the psnfss packages such as times was to use the fonts built in to the new PostScript laser printers. So times package selects (or at least selected) Adobe (licenced from Linotype) Times Roman. Apart from giving the look of Times Roman this had the distinct advantage at the time as the generated PostScript files were much smaller as they had no fonts embedded.

The newtxtext package selects a Times Roman clone, TeX Gyre Termes.

Normally packages selecting different fonts would not be considered to be the same, or one deprecated in terms of the other.

The situation here is complicated though as (with no change to the TeX macros of the times package) most TeX distributions now set the default map files for Times Roman to not use the built in Times Font but rather embed a Times clone (the Nimbus font originally donated by URW to the ghostscript project). The TeX Gyre Times Roman clone is also based on the glyphs in this URW font, so the differences between the fonts are not as large as they might be.

However to answer the question

Will anyone actually be able to tell if I use newtx, instead of times ?

Then yes depending how they look:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{newtxtext}
%\usepackage{times}
\begin{document}

zzz
\end{document}

Depending which package is used, pdffonts info shows

PKIZXQ+TeXGyreTermes-Regular         Type 1            Custom  

or

VXPZSB+NimbusRomNo9L-Regu            Type 1            Custom  

If you just use times package, then any mathematics will be set in the default computer modern and look very light in comparison, so the close cousin of the times package mathptm(x) soon followed. Unlike the text case, the constraints of using virtual fonts to access fonts built in to a 1980's laser printer, plus fonts available in a 1980s tex distribution fonts mean that in comparison to later math fonts for TeX, mathptm is rather, hmm basic (and mathptmx only slightly less so). However you can not just switch an existing document to a different font setup as the metrics are different and all line and page breaking would change, so it would not be appropriate to withdraw these packages or even really make them give warnings, however for new documents newtxmath will certainly give better math setting in general.

Is it worth writing to conference organizers asking the to amend their guidelines.

Possibly, possibly not. The organisers probably have other things to worry about. Also they may have some agreement with a publisher for the conference proceedings, so they may be constrained to whatever requirements they have for publishing (and publisher classes can be very strange:-)

So your next question

if so is there an authoritative statement (that is more substantial than the paragraph on CTAN) saying that it is deprecated and why?

Not really, ctan has lots of packages in lots of states of maintenance or lack of maintenance. The users need to determine if any packages they use are suitable for the use at hand, there is no review and no authority that can make such a statement.

and finally

Is it better to wait until after a conference has occurred that gave the time recommendation, then contact the organizers of the next year's conference?

As for the previous question, it may be worth mentioning it, but next years organisers might have the same internal constraints as this years.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.