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Call for Papers and TeX Pearls

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TeX contra TeX



Proposals (abstracts) should be e-mailed to attention of the Program Committee which listens at papers-2008 at gust dot org dot pl. Bogusław Jackowski is the appointed chairman. The deadline for abstracts is March 9, 2008, (extended deadline: March 17, 2008), the deadline for the final papers is March 31, 2008. The technical information for authors is published there.

We now have several TeX engines, from frozen and even obsolete through those being in use and actively maintained up to ones to be yet released. To mention some: Aleph, e-TeX, ExTeX, LuaTeX, Omega, pdfTeX, XeTeX and — of course — TeX itself. Add to this a number of macropackages, again actively developed or frozen and unmaintained: AMS-TeX, ConTeXt, LAMS-TeX, Lambda, LaTeX and of course plain TeX, either or not suitable to be used with those engines. All were developed with different aims and under different conditions and therefore have various strengths and weaknesses. Some are still being developed.

The knowledge about these developments is not widespread. We want to compare and contrast them for the benefit of all, thus the word “contra” in the title should not be taken literally — it is not to be a fight but a confrontation with differences, merits and faults carefully scrutinized. The central day of the conference will be devoted to this theme. We especially invite authors, developers and experts of these engines. And what about companion programs like METAFONT and METAPOST? Is METAFONT still used? What is happening with METAPOST? Come and let us know!

There will be also two other key themes:

What is TeX for me?

and

Aesthetic aspects of typesetting


The former is intended to become a session or perhaps a sub-conference dedicated to the youngest generation of TeXies.  It was inspired by Sam Guravage, the youngest ever presenter at a EuroTeX conference, who at EuroTeX 2007 gave the talk “Confessions of a teenage TeX user” for which he was awarded a diploma.  Out there are surely very young people who use TeX — we would like to hear from them!  We are also sure that they would like to talk to each other about their experiences.

The second theme aims not only at TeXies but also those who use other, broadly typesetting related software like Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign or Scribus, to name but some. We encourage papers on:

  • the borders of editing and typesetting,
  • design of typographical layouts,
  • aesthetic typesetting rules,
  • microtypography,
  • embedding graphics in the design,
  • and, of course the aesthetic of using fonts.


As always, there is space for other topics:

  • enhancing graphics engines,
  • new or improved macro packages,
  • user interfaces,
  • new font technologies.


Effectively, one can come and talk about everything, but it would be nice if there is some focus on the mentioned aspects.

Proposals for TeX and typography related tutorials or introductions are especially welcome.  If you have suggestions for tutorials or workshops by others than yourself or about specific topics, please let us know.

Call for TeX Pearls

We are continuing the tradition of “The Pearls of TeX Programming”. Here is briefly what is wanted:

  • short TeX, MF or MP macro/macros;
  • results should be virtually useful yet not obvious;
  • easy to explain — 10 minutes at most.

If you yourself have something that fits the bill, please consider. If you know somebody's work that does the same, please let us know, we will contact the person. Other details and previously collected pearls can be found here. The email address is: pearls at gust dot org dot pl.