44e NTG bijeenkomst / EuroTeX 2009

(najaar 2009) (photos) (location) (excursion)


Sunday, August 30

from 18.00Arrivals and registration
19.00-22.00Welcome reception
Besides drinks, various kinds of food will also be offered.

Monday, August 31

08.00-08.45Late registrations
08.45-09.00Conference opening
09.00-10.00 TeX & Education: an overlooked approach
photoC.G. van der Laan
Once we have decided on the need of TeX&Co for a task, we can ask what courses do we need if any? Or is the available documentation sufficient for selfstudy? Is the dose right?

How to cope with minimal markup? And how to cope with the use of specials with for example pdfTeX in mind?

Maybe such education should not only concentrate on the details proper of a TeX&Co tool, which can be retrieved from the manuals, but on broader issues such as language, awareness, and insight.


Language is paramount because we communicate in it. With respect to the use of TeX&CO the most surprising component of the user communities has been their language-biasedness. With respect to macro writing I favour a recognizable style, such the macros are easier to read and maintain.

Awareness is important because before one delves into the details of a tool one has to decide whether the tool is suited for the job and the audience in awareness of the most likely lifetime of the tool.

Insight is an important issue of education because we like not only to learn which button to push but we like to know what to do in similar situations, in other words we like to understand what we are doing.
10.30-11.15Introducing new French-Speaking Users to LaTeX Quickly and Convincingly
photoJean-Mich Hufflen
For four university years, we had to introduce 2nd-year university students in Mathematics to LaTeX. The goal was to make them able to use LaTeX when they are given some long homework in Mathematics the year after (3rd-year university). This teaching unit only included lab classes and was 15-hour long. So students actually practised exercices in LaTeX, but we did not have enough time to show LaTeX's very advanced features.

Our starting point is a long text, already typed. So students can see that adapting such a text written as LaTeX source. From this point of view, we show how to define new LaTeX commands at an early stage, because they allow users to write adaptable texts, and the can get used to that since their first texts.

Then the notion of packages is introduced, followed by the study of packages that ease the writing of French texts. Let us not forget that we were teaching students in Mathematics: the second part was devoted to LaTeX's math mode.

In the article, we present our approach in detail and explain how it was perceived by students.
11.15-12.00Using TeX For Educational Publishing
photoHans Hagen
It is no secret that we started using TeX to typeset educational materials: it shaped ConTeXt. Currently we still use TeX for projects that relate to education. Although we see a shift to more web based education we also see that print is in high demand for proper reading as well as examination. In this presentation I will show some of our current usage of TeX, for instance in XML to PDF workflows and PDF assembling workflows.
14.00-14.45TeX and the art of course maintenance
photoLucien Lemmens
A course can be considered as a collection of of elements that are connected and depend on each other. If you change something in element A, it has consequences for element B. References to material outside the notes, software-distributions, wiki-books, websites, generate changes, that are out of control of the maintainer of the course. Others are made by the author: correction of typo's, rephrasing, using other examples etc. If not well organized these changes can be very time consuming and have unexpected consequences - adding a few lines in a text can spoil the layout.
14.45-15.30LaTeX for students, teachers and researchers - some remarks
photoZofia Walczak
As we all know TeX was designed more then 30 years ago. Throughout the years TeX spread over three different groups of people - scientists, school teachers and, as a consequence, students.

The major group of TeX users is mathematicians as it was created specially for them. At present there is wide range of TeX users. I will show some examples how LaTeX can be useful for different purpose in different domains.
16.00-16.45Using TeX as a computing language in producing questions and solutions for assignments
photoJohn Trapp
TeX is a computing language, and though its functionality for calculations is limited even with the extension from packages such as calc, it can be used to produce some repetitive calculations for producing questions, solutions and ancillary material for assignments and lectures.

Examples of this are:
  1. Producing dates on a timetable where the dates are fixed in relation to the first date by specifying the first date only; all subsequent dates are calculated within the document itself from the first date.
  2. Adding up the marks on an assignment where each question has sub-questions with a variable number of marks. In an assignment booklet the marks are assigned to each sub-question by a command of the form \Mark{3}, the sub-total for each question is generated by the command \QuestionMark that adds up all the sub-marks, and the total for the assignment is created by the command \TotalMark which adds up the marks for the questions in the assignment.
    This is a very useful check on the allocation of marks within the assignment.
  3. Producing detailed solutions (and questions) for some integer-valued problems, such as
    • dot-product or cross-product of two vectors;
    • determinant of a three-by-three matrix
    • a second-order integer coefficient homogeneous differential equation
16.45-17.30slides TeX at The Open University
photoJonathan Fine
The Open University is the UK's leading provider of distance learning. Since 1992 it has used TeX for the production of mathematics and upper-level physics courses. It is used to produce custom authored course-book, assignment booklets, exams and supplementary materials. Most of these materials are printed commercially, in two or four colours.

This talk will give a survey of the past, present and future use of TeX at the OU.
17.30-17.45TeXworks: lowering the entry barrier to the TeX world
photoJonathan Kew
A brief presentation of the TeXworks project to tell and show what it is, and a report on the current status.
20.00-21.30Just ask
photoHans Hagen
An evening session where users can ask whatever they want about ConTeXt.

Tuesday, September 1

08.30-08.45slidesTypesetting a Statistics Text Book
photoTaco Hoekwater
The Dutch translation of the 750 page textbook "Introduction to the Practise of Statistics" is typeset using a set of ConTeXt macros. This talk will guid you through the production process of this book, and I will show that the use of TeX for the actual typesetting is possibly the least cumbersome part of the process.
08.45-09.00slidesCreating PDFs for e-readers
photoTaco Hoekwater
09.00-09.45slidesExperiences typesetting mathematical physics
photoUlrik Vieth
Twenty years ago, the author was just about to start his university studies. A year later, he not only discovered a fascinating program called TeX, but he also got involved in a project of typesetting a series of lecture manuscripts which eventually became book manuscripts for a complete course in theoretical physics. In the end, he spent over 7 years typing, editing, revising, and formatting more than 2500 book pages containing a large amount of heavy math. While there are many experiences from such a project one could talk about, ranging from project management to document design, this talk will focus on two specific topics: adapting TeX to deal with the specific requirements of mathematical notation in physics and fine-tuning the appearance of mathematical formulas.
09.45-10.00Typesetting Lyrics with ConTeXt
photoVyatcheslav Yatskovsky
My workflow includes getting lyrics from Web, printing them on separate sheets of paper, inscribe guitar chords (harmony) and binding into a "songbook". While most artists prefer MS Word or plain text formats, I found ConTeXt best suitable for my task for the following reasons:
  1. output formatting is consistent and rich, and this comes with almost no efforts comparing to WYSIWYG editors;
  2. marking a lyrics with keywords like verse, chorus, solo, etc, clarifies its structure and makes the song much easier to memorize and perform.
I will be glad to explain the environment internals, show my workflow, and demonstrate the collection of 150+ neatly formatted pdfs.
10.30-11.15Using TeX's Language within a Course about Functional Programming
photoJean-Michel Hufflen
We are in charge of a teaching unit, entitled Advanced Functional Programming, for 4th-year university students in Computer Science. This unit is optional within the curriculum, so students attending it are especially interestedin programming.

The main language studied in this unit is Scheme, but an important part is devoted to general features, e.g., lexical vs dynamic scoping, limited vs unlimited extent, call by value vs call by name or need, etc. As an alternative to other programming languages, TeX allows us to show a language where dynamic and lexical scoping--\def vs \edef--coexist. In addition, we can show how dynamic scoping allows users to customise TeX's behaviour. Other commands related to strategies are shown, too, e.g., \expandafter, \noexpand. More generally, TeX commands are related to macros in `more classical' programming languages, and we can both emphasise difficulty related to macros and shown non-artificial examples. To sum up, TeX is not Advanced Functional Programming's main part, but provides significant help to illustrate some difficult notions.
11.15-12.00slidesRejoining the mainstream
photoJonathan Fine
Much has changed in the world of publishing and communication since the release of TeX in 1982. TeX was rapidly adopted by mathematicians and physicists as a much-loved document preparation system, although with a steep learning curve. It is also used in other specialist areas, such as technical documentation and database publishing.

Since the 1990s computer power and networking has grown many times, as has use of computers. IBM has been replaced by Microsoft as the dominant commercial force in computing, which is now in turn challenged by Google. People are looking to the internet, particularly the Web, for information, services and solutions.

Although TeX remains mainstream for mathematical content, as open-source software it has slipped, and its web presence is weak. In 2009 TUG was rejected by Google as a mentoring organisation for their Summer of Code. TeX-related websites are somewhat dated and developer communities isolated, compared to the organisations that were accepted.

This talk presents recent work and proposals aimed at helping TeX and related software return to the mainstream of document processing.
  1. On-line documentation for TeX, LaTeX and ConTeXt
  2. Social networking :
    1. Mathematical content
    2. TeX development and support
  3. Typesetting:
    1. web service
    2. Shared objects and callable functions
  4. Standards:
    1. LaTeX syntax and XML
    2. Mathematical content and MathML
    3. Unicode (and XeTeX)
14.00-14.45slidesDEtool: Typesetting dictionaries with embedded ConTeXt
photoJelle Huisman
The Dictionary Express tool is developed to typeset linguistic data in a dictionary format. We show [1] how DEtool is part of a suite of linguistic software and [2] the use of ConTeXt for the actual typesetting.
14.45-15.30slidesA network TeX Live installation at the University of Groningen
photoSiep Kroonenberg
The Groningen University has a central TeX installation for Windows users.

This talk is about the technicalities and practicalities of maintaining this TeX installation.

A previous edition was based on MikTeX. TeX Live contains several elements which facilitate building such an installation, but there is still need for local customizations.
16.00-16.30slidesA comparison of free PDF libraries
photoMartin Schröder
One of the reasons for the success of pdfTeX is the quality of the PDF inclusion, which uses code from XPDF.

Over the last years a number of (free) PDF libraries and tools have been developed. I will show some of these and compare them.
16.30-17.15Optimizing PDF output size of TeX documents
photoPéter Szabó
There are several tools to generate PDF output from a TeX document. By choosing the appropriate tools and configuring them properly, it is possible to reduce the PDF output size by a factor of 5 or even more, thus reducing document download times, hosting and archiving costs. In the article we enumerate the most common tools, and show how to configure them to reduce the size of text, fonts and images embedded into the final PDF.

We also analyze image compression in detail, and present a new tool which which optimizes embedded image sizes.
17.15-18.00slides slidesWriting Pitman 2000 Shorthand with LaTeX and MF
photoStanislav Sarman
We present an on-line system, which converts English text into Pitman 2000 shorthand, phonetic pen writing system used in the UK and Commonwealth countries.

The given text is at first tokenized (tokens being punctuation marks, numbers, words and common phrases). For each of the tokens a MF glyph is generated on-the-fly. These glyphs are combinations of shorthand graphems corresponding to phonems obtained from a pronunciation lexicon. The shorthand text is then set with LaTeX.

The system is comparable to systems which convert texts into Gregg and DEK shorthand. The impact of such systems on stenography learning, shorthand OCR and dvi driver implementation will be discussed.
20.00-21.30ConTeXt Future
photoHans Hagen
An evening session about plans for the future of ConTeXt.

Wednesday, September 2

09.00-23.30excursion day

The excursion day has its own page: Excursion day

Thursday, September 3

08.30-09.15LuaTeX 0.50: Where We Stand And What We Aim For
photoHans Hagen
Around EuroTeX LuaTeX 0.50 will be released which means that we're kind of halfway to version 1. What has been achieved so far and what are our targets? Since the development of ConTeXt MkIV goes in parallel I'll also spend some words on the impact of LuaTeX on its development.
09.15-09.30slidesWhat's new in LuaTeX 0.50
photoTaco Hoekwater
LuaTeX 0.50 features a complete departure from Pascal source code. This talk will spend some time on the why and how of this change
09.30-10.00slidesBackend improvements in LuaTeX 0.50
photoHartmut Henkel
10.30-11.15The State of The Oriental TeX project
photoHans Hagen
This project is one of the more challenging driving forces behind the LuaTeX and ConTeXt MkIV projects as it stretches them to the limits. In this (short) presentation I will discuss some of the challenges that we deal with.
11.15-12.00slidesluatex lunatic
photoLuigi Scarso
luatex lunatic is a modification of the lua side of luatex to permit
an embedding of a python interpreter.

A python interpreter hosted in luatex permit manipulation of
existing luatex data structures in a python way, make available to macro programmer all modules from standard library, allow importing of third modules and the use of existing binding of shared library or the build of wrapper of shared libs with the standard module ctypes.

Some examples of such bindings, particularly on scientific area but also on the graphic side, are presented and discussed.

Intentionally the embedding of interpreter is limited to python-2.6
release and to a luatex release for Linux operating system 32 bit.
14.00-15.30LaTeX for beginners (tutorial) I
photoSiep Kroonenberg
A LaTeX course for absolute beginners. Topics will include, among other things, the mechanics of creating and compiling LaTeX documents, basic markup, math, tables and bibliographies.

There will also be some coverage of add-on packages.
14.00-15.30slidesConTeXt: positioning design elements at specific places on a page (tutorial)
photoWilli Egger
When designing a document, often information must show up at specific places. For this purpose ConTeXt comes with a powerful layer-mechanism. During this workshop basic ideas concerning layers are presented. A couple of examples how to take advantage of the possibilities will be shown.
16.00-17.30LaTeX for beginners (tutorial) II
photoSiep Kroonenberg
16.00-17.30From latex to context tutorial (cancelled)

19.30-20.00slidesDon‘t ask what you can do for LuaTeX, but what LuaTeX can do for you.
photoPatrick Gundlach
20.00-21.00Playing With Font Features
photoHans Hagen
In this presentation we will explore what OpenType features are, what they do, or don't do, where they succeed or fail. I will use an interactive tool that ships with the ConTeXt distribution. One of the objectives of this presentation is to make users aware that OpenType is great but that one needs to be aware of limitations, potential side effects and that while installation and usage has become easier a somewhat greater knowledge is expected with respect to what they make possible.
21.00-22.00Dynamic Font Features
photoHans Hagen
In ConTeXt MkIV we have several ways to enable OpenType features. In base mode we use TeX's core methods, while in node mode we do everything in Lua. Both are static methods in the sense that the set of features to be applied is associated with a font instance. Instead of these (or on top of these) you can use dynamic features. This method has several variants and these will be discussed in this presentation cq. tutorial. I will show what they do as well as present the user interface to them. When time permits I will also give a demonstration of yet another mechanism, tagged font strategies. This method is used in the Oriental TeX project.

Friday, September 4

08.30-09.00slidesSVG support in MetaPost 1.200
photoTaco Hoekwater
Since version 1.110, Metapost has an alternative backend. Besides the ability to create Encapsulated PostScript, it is now also possible to create Scalable Vector Graphics output. This talk shows some examples of this new backend and also highlights a few related extensions to Metapost that have been added in version 1.200.
09.00-09.45slidesPlans for MetaPost 2.0
photoTaco Hoekwater
Now that MetaPost 1.200 has been released the time has finally come to focus on the precision extensions that I have been hinting at for a few years. Version 2.000 of MetaPost will have a runtime configurable precision and infinite numeric input range.
09.45-10.00slidesLicensing of the TeX Gyre family of fonts
photoJerzy Ludwichowski
URW++ Design and Development, the well-known font foundry, which in 1996 donated the so-called basic 35 PostScript Type 1 fonts to the public under both the GNU Public License (GPL) and Aladdin Free Public License (AFPL), has on 22nd June 2009 agreed to release the same fonts under the LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL). This presentation will explain the significance of URW's decision for the TeX community, with special emphasis on the TeX Gyre font family.
10.30-11.15slidesMath fonts: notes from the trenches
photoBogusław Jackowski
About a year ago, a math fonts expedition was organised by TeX LUGs. After a brave beginning, however, the offensive is now stuck in its trenches. Nonetheless, optimistic signs of the future victory are more and more apparent.

The necessary background information and the available technical data will be given along with the layout of the plans for the imminent math fonts offensive.
11.15-12.00slidesHandwriting fonts, METAFONT and OpenType
photoKarel Píška
The fonts cover handwriting scripts used in Czech, Armenian and Georgian schools. METAFONT, Type 1 and OpenType solutions are presented. Different techniques applied in METAFONT and OpenType, especially for inclusion of numerous connections between letters or various glyph modifications, will be compared.

The original METAFONT Czech font slabikar was created by Petr Olšák, other fonts have been produced by the author. The fonts could be used for educational purposes.
14.00-14.45PPCHTeX revisited
photoHans Hagen
About 15 years ago I wrote a module for typesetting chemical structure formulas: PPCHTEX. The next few years it evolved and stabilized pretty well. The only extension till now has been that MetaPost replaced the PicTeX graphics but still PicTeX was used to position the lot. Although not commonly known, the fact that at that point ConTeXt had a Dutch user interface while PPCHTEX was kind of generic is one of the reasons why ConTeXt now has multiple user interfaces and became useable for those who didn't like Dutch.

Triggered by a question at the ConTeXt mailing list I decided to freeze the MkII version and played a bit with the code. I quickly concluded that it was about time to reprogram the lot for MkIV and get rid of the dependency on PicTeX. In this workshop for ConTeXt users I will demonstrate how we can combine the power of TeX, MetaPost and Lua to make quite efficient and compact modules that otherwise demand quite some auxiliary code.
14.45-15.30Secrets of a TeX distribution: ConTeXt minimals
photoMojca Miklavec & Arthur Reutenauer
What does it take for a packaging system to follow the fast pace of the ever-improving ConTeXt? The 'new' ConTeXt minimals are an attempt at an answer. Now the successor to the first 'minimal distribution' that was available as zip files from the Pragma web site, it ships all the necessary files in a single structure: the ConTeXt core of course, with its TeX and Lua code and its support scripts, but also third-party modules that can be retrieved upon desire since we aim at modularity; and, more importantly, the distribution also includes all the necessary binaries for the most popular architecture, in a sufficiently new version: Mark IV always needs a very recent version. This latter point was one of the major incentive to create a new distribution; another one was the desire to avoid downloading big archive files when only a few source files were modified: in order to achieve that, we now use the rsync protocol, together with a minimal setup script on Unix systems, including Mac OS, and an install wizard for Windows, written by Vyacheslav Yatskovsky.
16.00-16.45New Stuctures in ConTeXt
photoHans Hagen
Most of the structure related code in ConTeXt has been rewritten and use Lua extensively for housekeeping. This step finalized the move of all multipass data to Lua. As we carry more state information around, we can also more conveniently support for instance multipass XML. In this presentation I will show where information ends up and in what way future versions will provide users with access to additional information.
16.45-17.30Upcoming Spacing Mechanisms
photoHans Hagen
One of the complications with vertical spacing is that the more a macro package provides, the more interference between structural components is possible. There is only so much one can do about it, especially because TeX is not that good at looking back. In MkIV we will have a revisited vertical spacing model, one that eventually will replace the existing model.
17.30-18.00Conference closing

Participant list

1. Alain Delmotte, Le Liseron éditions, Belgium
2. Arthur Reutenauer, GUTenberg, France
3. Bernd Militzer, Germany
4. Bernd Raichle, DANTE e.V., Germany
5. Bogusław Jackowski, GUST, Poland
6. Eszter Urbán, Hungary
7. Eva Van Deventer, University of South Africa, South Africa
8. Frans Absil, Netherlands Defence Academy, The Netherlands
9. Frans Goddijn, Stichting Johan Polak, The Netherlands
10. Gisela Mannigel, Germany
11. Gyöngyi Bujdosó, University of Debrecen, Hungary
12. Hans Hagen, PRAGMA ADE , The Netherlands
13. Harald König, Germany
14. Hartmut Henkel, von Hoerner & Sulger GmbH, Germany
15. Jan de Vries, Netherlands Defence Academy, The Netherlands
16. Jean-Michel Hufflen, University of Franche-Comté - LIFC, France
17. Jelle Huisman, SIL International, United Kingdom
18. Jerzy Ludwichowski, GUST, Poland
19. Johannes Küster, typoma GmbH, Germany
20. John Plaice, The University of New South Wales, Australia
21. John Trapp, Open University, United Kingdom
22. Jonathan Fine, Open University, United Kingdom
23. Jonathan Kew, United Kingdom
24. K. M. Jeary, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
25. Karel Píška, Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
26. Kees van der Laan, NTG, The Netherlands
27. Kevin Warnock, gOffice.com, USA
28. Klaus Höppner, DANTE e.V., Germany
29. Lucien Lemmens, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium
30. Luigi Scarso, logosrl, Italy
31. Manfred Lotz, Germany
32. Mari Voipio, K-Patents Oy, Finland
33. Martin Schröder, QuinScape GmbH, Germany
34. Martin Sievers, Einfach schöner publizieren, Germany
35. Michael Guravage, Literate Solutions, The Netherlands
36. Michel Goossens, CERN, Switzerland
37. Niall Mansfield, UIT, United Kingdom
38. Nino Bašić, FMF, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
39. Patrick Gundlach, Germany
40. Péter Szabó, Google, Switzerland
41. Philip Taylor, United Kingdom
42. Reinhard Kotucha, Germany
43. Rukhsar Khan, Airnet Technologie- und Bildungszentrum GmbH, Germany
44. Siep Kroonenberg, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
45. Stanislav Jan Sarman, Rechenzentrum der TU Clausthal, Germany
46. Steffen Wolfrum, Germany
47. Steve Grathwohl, USA
48. Taco Hoekwater, Bittext, The Netherlands
49. Ulrik Vieth, Germany
50. Vyatcheslav Yatskivsky, National Aviation University of Ukraine, Ukraine
51. Willi Egger, BOEDE, The Netherlands
52. Wolfgang Murth, WMS Modell&Technik, Austria
53. Wybo Dekker, The Netherlands
54. Zofia Walczak, University of Lodz, Poland, Poland


Preprint deadline 15 August 2009
Final papers due 1 October 2009
Proceedings published31 December 2009