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Call for papers

Premises, predilections, predictions

The title, or rather lead for the conference might sound mysterious but it seems to us that it presents the core of the motives around TeX and typography we'd like to be talked about during the conference using the opportunity which presents itself with the meeting of the world's most competent people in those areas.

Re premises

TeX is not only software and certainly not the outdated text typesetting program from 1982. TeX is a phenomenon: in computer science (concepts, implementations, distributions) and socially (TeX system's user groups and their undertakings). It being one of the oldest software systems functioning until now without fundamental conceptual changes should be treated as an indisputable success of the computer based typography model created by Prof. Donald E. Knuth. 

So we have a big typographic system, we have users all over the world uniting themselves into organizations acting for the benefit of TeX. We also have attempts to modify and further the system (eTeX, pdfTeX, luaTeX, XeTeX and others), which on one hand open perspectives but on the other — threaten with the “Babel tower syndrome”. 

So much was achieved, what more — follows.

Re predilections

Undoubtedly TeXies value programmability, portability, backward compatibility, good documentation, splendid typographic and logical quality of documents, to mention only some of the most valued qualities of the TeX et al system. 

Those signatures are however not the most valued in the contemporary world geared toward rapid, easy but also ad hoc results. Contemporary users of software look for  intuitive interfaces, immediate effects and visual editing features.

Are those two approaches really excluding each other? The concepts at the foundations of TeX are being introduced to modern systems. Visual features may also be introduced into TeX. Such mutual inter-fusing is being observed since long, but does it lead to where it should?

This is something worthy of a discussion, as the processes are rather spontaneous, without set set rules and goals, whereas it is important not to lose the current virtues.

Re predictions

As Niels Bohr used to say “It's difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”.

However, questions pertaining to the future of TeX emerge on its own. Will TeXs die out? Are they going to occupy some narrow niche? Or perhaps will they mutate and spawn a new species, living on some cloud? Or perhaps only some “TeX genes” will prevail (like mitochondria in cells) in new programs not necessarily devoted to creating classic documents (i.e., pages filled with characters)?

What future awaits the TeX system and their users? It depends on us to a considerable degree. The better we know what we want, the higher the chances we stand to achieve it. That is why we'd nevertheless like to try to glean into the future, using the collected wisdom of the respectable and influential professionals gathered at the conference.

Summary

We hope to obtain at least partial answers to the following QrwA (Questions rather without(?) Answers):

  • Premises — the starting point, what we have, what do we use, what has been achieved?
  • Predilections — how do we act now, how do we want to act, what is important to us and what do we miss?
  • Predictions — what is the future of TeX, what we'd like to achieve and can we influence it?

 

Papers/presentations

Of course we also look forward to the normal mix of TeX, MetaPost, ConTeXt, LaTeX, and friends related presentations. Please do not forget about fonts!

We do upkeep the new BachoTeX trend in which we try to bring together programmers and designers of typographic systems, typographers and other users of such systems. 

Please note the “Call for TeX Pearls” further down.

The normal channel of offering papers is the emailing of proposals to the Program Committee, but before rushing off to the mailer, please consult the info for authors.

Workshops and tutorials

We still accept proposals for TeX-related tutorials or introductions. If you have suggestions for tutorials or workshops by others than yourself or about specific topics, please let us know.

Update: Amongst others, currently there are two proposals:

  • book binding with Willi Egger and caligraphy with Barbara Wilińska, a joint effort;
  • revise, correct or extend a CTAN documentation of your favoured LaTeX package—with Damien Thiriet.

Poster sessions

Participants will be given the opportunity to present their TeX and typographic results in the form of posters for which we provide exhibition space.

TeX Pearls

We continue the tradition of the “Pearls of TeX Programming”. Metafont/MetaPost do also fall into that category. Details and previously collected pearls can be found at http://www.gust.org.pl/projects/pearls/.

Deadlines and addresses

The deadline for “regular” abstracts and other proposals is March 26th 2017. The deadline for final papers to appear in the conference materials is April 10th.

Contributions should be send by email to the Program Committee: prog-2017 at gust dot org dot pl. The PC is chaired by Bogusław Jackowski (b underscore jackowski at gust dot org dot pl).

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