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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 30 Aug 2022 21:16:02 +0100
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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Jonathan Fine <[log in to unmask]>
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The TeX Hour has left holiday mode. If you were on holiday I hope you had
some pleasant days. The next TeX Hour is back to normal.

Subject: The future of TeX (Don Knuth) and LaTeX Tagged PDF (Mittelbach and
Date and time: Thursday 1 September, 14, 21 July, 6:30 to 7:30pm BST (ie
UK) time.
UK Time Now:
Zoom URL:

About the future of TeX and Tagged PDF.

In 1990 Don Knuth announced that his work on developing TeX, METAFONT and
Computer Modern had come to an end. He also wrote:

Of course I do not claim to have found the best solution to every problem.
> I simply claim that it is a great advantage to have a fixed point as a
> building block. Improved macro packages can be added on the input side;
> improved device drivers can be added on the output side.


Thirty years later, in 2020, Mittelbach and Rowley announced and described

> the start of a multi-year project to enhance LATEX to fully and naturally
> support the creation of structured document formats, in particular the
> “tagged PDF” format as required by accessibility standards such as PDF/UA.

The LaTeX team seems to be in the second of the six phases in the project.
The first was preparing the ground, the second provides tagging of simple
documents (no math or tables or hyperlinks). Phase six is conformance to
standards "so far as this is possible ... without any post-processing of
the PDF file".


In the TeX Hour this Thursday (1 September) I will outline a Knuthian
approach to the problem of producing tagged PDF. More exactly, my approach
is to leave LaTeX (the macros) and pdfTeX (the typesetting engine) largely
unchanged. Somewhat optimistically, I believe that given equal resources
this approach can both overtake the LaTeX team and give a better result.

Finally, SAVE THE DATE, Thursday 29 September, 6:30 to 8:30pm BST (ie UK)
time. This is the date and time for a special TeX Hour "Rethinking TeX in
STEM". We have as special guests Dennis Müller, (sTeX), Martin Ruckert
(HINT) and Peter Williams (Tectonic). All three have recently given talks
on these topics at the annual TeX Conference.

wishing you happy TeXing


There will be a special