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This page aggregates blog entries by people who are writing about TeX and related topics.

TeX Live/Debian updates 20190122

Posted on January 24, 2019 by There and back again Feed

Despite current unpleasantries abound, I have updated the TeX Live packages – mostly to fix a critical bug in xr.sty – since I don’t think the users should pay with broken documents for what...

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Filling and version control

Posted on January 20, 2019 by Content AND Presentation Feed

It has been said a lot of times that when writing some (natural language) text with version control in Emacs, filling is a bad idea. Any change involving adding or deleting a significant number of characters and then refilling can result in all subsequent lines in a paragraph changed, and the diff looks really ugly then. The solution usually proposed is putting each sentence on a separate line, and then just use visual-line-mode to wrap your lines on the screen without putting any hard newlines in. Well, I sort of dislike this idea.

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The Git bridge in Overleaf v2 is here!

Posted on January 3, 2019 by Overleaf Feed

We’re delighted to announce that a git integration for Overleaf v2 is now released!

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Ten years of Some TeX Developments

Posted on January 1, 2019 by Some TeX Developments Feed

Just over ten years ago, I decided to establish a blog about TeX matters. After a bit of consideration and searching, I found that texdev.net was available, and decided to call the blog Some TeX Developments. I’ve written nearly 400 posts since then, from one-liners about the blog itself to extended ‘articles’ on highly-technical aspects of TeX programming. I know that some of the most useful posts are ‘user’ advice, for example comparing TeX Live to MiKTeX, or explaining how overlays work in beamer. The blog recently moved to GitHub Pages, making it a bit easier for me to run, and to fix older posts. I expect to keep blogging, and look forward to the topics that come up in the next ten years!

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Reflections on an amazing year—2018 comes to a close

Posted on December 31, 2018 by Overleaf Feed

The past twelve months have been some of the biggest in Overleaf's history. Not only did we successfully launch the new Overleaf platform, we also hit the remarkable milestone of having over three million users worldwide! We even nudged our way into the Top 100 fastest growing companies in the UK as reported by SyndicateRoom earlier this month. This is a fantastic achievement, and we'd like to say a huge thank you to all our users, customers and partners who've helped us continue to provide the best service we can, and who've provided invaluable feedback and input into the new platform. As 2018 comes to a close, we thought we'd take a moment to look back on some of our personal highlights from 2018, and to wish everyone a fun, happy and successful 2019 😊

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Cuti-cuti Malaysia: 2019 calendar with Malaysian public and school holidays

Posted on December 31, 2018 by Malaysian LaTeX User Group Feed

I made a calendar marked with Malaysian holidays for personal use, and then decided to make it public. It uses my LaTeX CD calendar template. Here are some sample pages: Download Cuti-cuti Malaysia 2019 Calendar for Penang Download LaTeX source code files This has been customised specifically with Penang in mind, so state holidays observed […]

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TUGboat 39:3 published

Posted on December 23, 2018 by TeX Users Group Feed

TUGboat volume 39, number 3 (a regular issue) has been mailed to TUG members. It is also available online and from the TUG store. Thus, prior TUGboat issue 39:2 is now publicly available. Please consider joining or renewing your TUG membership if you haven't already.

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Einführung in ConTeXt

Posted on December 22, 2018 by TeXwelt Feed

Axel Kielhorn hat eine deutschsprachige Einführung in ConTeXt verfasst, wie er heute auf der Vereins-Mailingliste mitteilte. Auf 45 Seiten erklärt er die wesentlichen Grundlagen, also Gliederung (Kapitel, Abschnitte und feiner) Stichpunkt-Listen, Aufzählungen, beschreibende Listen Text-Formatierung, Schriften und Größen Querverweise und … Weiterlesen →

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TeX Live/Debian updates 20181214

Posted on December 15, 2018 by There and back again Feed

Another month passed, and the (hoepfully) last upload for this year brings updates to the binaries, to the usual big set of macro and font packages, and some interesting and hopefully useful changes. The...

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Overleaf recognized as one of the UK's Top 100 fastest-growing businesses

Posted on December 11, 2018 by Overleaf Feed

We're delighted to announce that Overleaf has been recognised as one of the UK's fastest-growing businesses, nudging ourselves into SyndicateRoom's Top 100 at number 99 :) The Top 100 report was jointly compiled by independent research agency Beauhurst and SyndicateRoom to highlight the 100 fastest-growing private companies in the UK by focusing on company growth over the three years from 2015 to 2018.

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Floating point calculations in LaTeX

Posted on December 9, 2018 by Some TeX Developments Feed

TeX does not include any ‘native’ support for floating point calculations, but that has not stopped lots of (La)TeX users wanting to do sums (and more complicated things) in their document. As TeX is Turing complete, it’s not a surprise that there are several ways to implement calculations. For end users, the differences between these are not important: what is key is what to use. Here, I’ll give a bit of background, look at the various possibilities, then move on to give a recommendation. Background When Knuth wrote TeX, he had one aim in mind: high-quality typesetting. He also wanted to have sources which were truly portable between different systems. At the time, there was no standard for specifying how floating point operations should be handled at the hardware level: as such, no floating point operations were system-independent. Knuth decided that TeX would provide no user access to anything dependent on platform-specific floating-point operations. That means that the TeX functions that look like floats (in particular dimen work) actually use integer arithmetic and convert ‘at the last minute’. Technical considerations There are two basic approaches to setting up floating point systems in TeX: either use dimensions or doing everything in ...

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Bringing the Git bridge to v2—it's here!

Posted on December 7, 2018 by Overleaf Feed

We’re delighted to announce that a git integration for Overleaf v2 is now in beta! The integration lets you git clone, push and pull changes between the online Overleaf editor, and your local offline git repository. The git bridge was a popular feature of Overleaf v1, and we heard a lot of feedback from the community about it being important to keep as a feature in Overleaf v2. It’s been one of the more challenging technical parts of the move to v2 for us, but we’re pleased to announce that it’s now ready for beta testing, ahead of a full launch in early January 2019.

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Bringing XeTeX into line

Posted on December 6, 2018 by Some TeX Developments Feed

In parallel with work on the \expanded primitive, I’ve been working recently on bringing the ‘utility’ primitives in XeTeX into line with those in pdfTeX, pTeX and upTeX. Background XeTeX was written to extend e-TeX to allow full Unicode working, including loading system fonts. The development started from the DVI-mode e-TeX, rather than from pdfTeX, which had added various new primitives to e-TeX. Much of the difference between pdfTeX and e-TeX is directly to do with producing PDF output, but there are some additions that are entirely independent of that. Over the years, some of the ‘utilities’ have been added to XeTeX (for example \pdfstrcmp, which in XeTeX is just \strcmp). However, several have not made it, but have been added to pTeX and upTeX. That’s meant that XeTeX has between ‘a bit behind’ in feature terms: there are things that simply can’t be done without primitive support. An opportunity arises As I’ve said in my other post today, the recent setting up of a Travis-CI testing environment for TeX Live building means that it is now easy to try adding new material to the WEB sources of pdfTeX, XeTeX, etc. As I was working on \expanded anyway, I decided ...

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A 'new' primitive: \expanded

Posted on December 6, 2018 by Some TeX Developments Feed

In recent years, development of pdfTeX has been very limited, with the v1.40 branch now being around for over 10 years. However, in the past there were plans for a v1.50 branch, and some code was actually written. One primitive that was fully coded-up at that time was \expanded. The idea of this is pretty simple: it carries out full expansion like \message (and almost) like \edef), but it is still expandable. For example, try \def\a{\b}\def\b{c} \message{Hello \a\space #} \detokenize\expandafter{\expanded{Hello \a\space #}} \bye using LuaTeX. Why is the example for LuaTeX? When LuaTeX development started, the team behind it used the development code from pdfTeX as a starting point, and that included \expanded. However, release pdfTeX itself didn’t incorporate this code, and so it’s not been more widely available. Enter the LaTeX Team For some time, the LaTeX Team have been thinking about asking for \expanded to be made more widely available. Unlike the \romannumeral ‘trick’, \expanded does not require any hard work to get ‘past’ any output, so it is very useful for creating macros that work like functions. It’s also fast and clear in intention. In the past, making requests for changes to the pdfTeX codebase was hard ...

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Blog on the move

Posted on November 26, 2018 by Some TeX Developments Feed

I’ve been writing Some TeX Developments for ten years now, starting off on WordPress.com before moving to a self-hosted WordPress set up. All of this time, I’ve stuck with WordPress as it’s a very powerful and flexible system. However, it’s got some downsides too. In particular, as it is dynamic, database-driven, system, the pages are created each time someone requests them. That’s great for things like supporting comments, but it means there’s a non-trivial amount of work done each time someone views a page. That turns into a real cost when you are paying for your own hosting. My most recent hosts were really good for support, but I needed enough CPU cycles to push me into the ‘non-trivial’ cost bracket. At the same time, a dynamic site means that there’s always a security risk. Enter GitHub Pages I’m hardly the only person to come across these issues, and it’s no surprise that there are a variety of good solutions. One that’s really gained in popularity over recent years is GitHub Pages. This uses a specially-named Git repository to run a generation system called Jekyll. Unlike WordPress, Jekyll generates pages when the sources are committed, so the pages themselves are ...

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