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Didier Verna's scientific blog: Lisp, Emacs, LaTeX and random stuff.

Monday, March 16 2020

TFM 1.1 "Carolingan Miniscules" is released

I'm happy to announce the release of TFM version 1.1 "Carolingan Miniscules". TFM is a TeX Font Metrics parser library for Common Lisp.

This release provides support for font scaling and freezing. Scaling is done, as in TeX, by overriding the font's design size, all other dimensions remaining relative to it. Freezing, on the other hand, converts all relative dimensions into absolute ones, potentially saving a lot of run-time arithmetic computation.

Get it at the usual place.

Wednesday, October 9 2019

TFM 1.0 "Artificial Uncial" is released

I'm happy to announce the first stable version of TFM, a TeX Font Metrics parser for Common Lisp. TFM is the standard font description format used by TeX. The TFM library parses and decodes TFM files into an abstract data structure, providing easy access to the corresponding font information. Get it here.

Thursday, January 3 2019

FiXme 4.5 is out

I'm pleased to announce the release of FiXme 4.5 (my collaborative annotation tool for LaTeX).

New in this release:

** Public interface for extending FiXme with new key/value options.
** Revamp the AUCTeX support
with help from Arash Esbati and Ikumi Keita.
** Fix PDF signature layouts not working anymore
reported by Soeren Wolfers.
** Fix spurious space at the end of environments contents
reported by Frank Mittelbach.

Get it at the usual place.

Sunday, March 5 2017

FiXme 4.4 is out

I'm pleased to announce the release of FiXme 4.4 (my collaborative annotation tool for LaTeX).

New in this release:

** Handle existing yet empty lox files properly
meaning, don't actually typeset an empty list of corrections.
** Don't update the lox file in final mode
avoiding potential typesetting artifacts, reported by Lars Madsen.
** Various internals and documentation improvements.

Get it at the usual place.

Thursday, January 26 2017

DoX 2.3 is out

I'm pleased to announce the release of DoX 2.3 (Extensions to the Doc pakcage for LaTeX).

New in this release:

** Support Doc's internal \saved@indexname command
thanks to Falk Hanisch.

Get it at the usual place.

Wednesday, January 18 2017

FiXme 4.3 is out

I'm pleased to announce the release of FiXme 4.3 (my collaborative annotation tool for LaTeX), after more than 3 years of hyper-sleep.

New in this release:

** Add a paragraph about the duplication of notes in captions
upon exchange with Kreuvf.
** Update support for the KOMA-Script classes to the tocbasic interface
reported by Dirk Surmann.
** Separate inline notes from the text they follow
suggested by Victor Porton.
** Fix potential inline layouts color leakage
reported by Victor Porton.
** Fix several bracket parsing problems
thanks to Joseph Wright and Lars Madsen.

Get it at the usual place.

Wednesday, March 21 2012

Star TeX, the Next Generation

I'm happy to announce that my contribution to TUG 2012, the next TeX Users Group International conference, has been accepted. Please find the title and abstract below.



Star TeX, the Next Generation

In 2010, I asked Donald Knuth why he chose to design and implement TeX as a macro-expansion system (as opposed to more traditional procedure calls). His answer was that:

  1. he wanted something relatively simple for his secretary who was not a computer scientist,
  2. the very limited computing resources at that time practically mandated the use of something much lighter than a true programming language.

The first part of the answer left me with a slight feeling of skepticism. It remains to be seen that TeX is simple to use, and when or where it is, its underlying implementation has hardly anything to do with it.

The second part of the answer, on the other hand, was both very convincing and arguably now obsolete as well. Time has passed and the situation today is very different from what it was 50 years ago. The available computing power has grown exponentially, and so has our overall skills in language design and implementation.

Several ideas on how to modernize TeX already exist. Some have been actually implemented. In this talk, I will present mine. Interestingly enough, it seems to me that modernizing TeX can start with grounding it in an old yet very modern programming language: Common Lisp. I will present the key features that make this language particularly well suited to the task, emphasizing on points such as extensibility, scriptability and multi-paradigm programming. The presentation will include reflections about the software engineering aspects (internals), as well as about the surface layer of TeX itself. Most notably, I will explore the possibilities of providing a more consistent syntax to the TeX API, while maintaining backward compatibility with the existing code base.

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