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Stop the Math Press's Presses — Knuth Announces iTex 284

Posted by timothy
from the now-with-more-highly-integrated-business-principles dept.
After Donald Knuth's anticipated "earthshaking announcement," it's safe to say that the world is still here. yowlanku writes "Christoper Adams tweeted live from TUG 2010 Conference that 'Donald Knuth's TeX successor will be named iTeX.' " Knuth "also stated that this successor of TeX will have features like 3-D printing, animation, stereographic sound."
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Stop the Math Press's Presses — Knuth Announces iTex

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  • by lostmongoose (1094523) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @05:45PM (#32765572)
    ...yes?
  • Lame Indeed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @06:11PM (#32765978) Homepage

    Knuth "also stated that this successor of TeX will have features like 3-D printing, animation, stereographic sound."

    In other words, it will become a bloated mess.

  • by msauve (701917) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @06:15PM (#32766040)
    Google is the new Apple
    Apple is the new Microsoft
    Microsoft is the new IBM
    IBM is just old
  • by bonch (38532) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @06:31PM (#32766236)

    What do you expect? Apple took the wind out of Slashdotters' fantasy of Linux on the desktop supplanting Windows, so there's some bitterness there.

  • Re:Lame Indeed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bonch (38532) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @06:32PM (#32766264)

    How does supporting those features make something a "bloated mess?"

  • by ae1294 (1547521) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @06:37PM (#32766346) Journal

    Google is the new Apple
    Apple is the new Microsoft
    Microsoft is the new IBM
    IBM is the new Xerox
    Xerox is...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @06:41PM (#32766390)
    OT comments on religion or politics are, ex ipso, trolls.
  • by rhyder128k (1051042) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @06:45PM (#32766430) Homepage

    It's a hoax, but it it's a shame that something isn't being to speed up development on the successor to LaTeX2. LaTeX 3 development work has been underway since the early 1990s. One feature I'd like to see implemented is a reliable way of inserting an inline text box that the main text wraps around, for tip boxes. There is some third party support for images that take up less than a full column width, and it can be hijacked for text, but it doesn't work reliably. Basically, what I think will happen is that TeX will die out to be replaced by DTP due to the stalled development process. A shame, as a lot of us liked it, particular when teamed up with LyX [lyx.org].

  • by TheKidWho (705796) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @07:25PM (#32766932)

    Except that 80% of laptops sold over $1000 are Apple and most high end computers tend to be Macs. It's more entrenched than Linux on the desktop that's for sure.

  • by The Spoonman (634311) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @07:34PM (#32767054) Homepage
    Yes! It's just terrible when companies give you things for free that you can then choose to either use...or not. Shameful behavior! Congress should do something about it!
  • by quadelirus (694946) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @08:45PM (#32767726)
    It is the standard for mathematics, and computer science, and maybe some other sciences, but I'm not familiar with those.

    It is not, sadly, the standard for the "soft" sciences nor for humanities. My friend in economics is using Word and has never written a line of TeX. When he tried to merge docs for his thesis in Word he ran into huge trouble.
  • by deniable (76198) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @08:49PM (#32767768)
    And 100% of laptops over $1000 are expensive.
  • by quadelirus (694946) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @08:54PM (#32767820)
    I'm pretty sure this is a joke. All the twitter posts have a parody flag, and Knuth is renowned for his odd sense of humor.
  • by TheKidWho (705796) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:09PM (#32767936)

    For poor bastards, most definitely.

  • by pankajmay (1559865) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:28PM (#32768078)

    Except that 80% of laptops sold over $1000 are Apple and most high end computers tend to be Macs. It's more entrenched than Linux on the desktop that's for sure.

    Very True.
    I am a big Linux fan and personally use it everywhere, even on my macbook - however, to be honest, I am still appalled at non-resolution of issues that were glaring in the nineties and are still a gaping hole.

    A Linux user is painted as not giving a rat's ass to anything as fancy as X with beautiful ornately decorated windows -- which is true to a large extent, but I guess a large set of core developers forgot that X is what a casual computer user sees.

    I am not denying that there are some really extensive Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Mint etc.) geared towards user experience - the fact is that all these distributions are trying to provide an environment similar to Windows. Graphical Linux has always tried to emulate either Windows/Mac OS, as if they are the standard in user friendliness.

    Any other graphical environment in Linux does not make it friendly for the user.

    My gripe is that Linux has not invented a standard of user friendliness for itself, that is unique to it. A casual user sees an emulation of Windows/Mac OS and feels as if he/she is settling for second best -- I mean why not go for Windows or OS X itself!
    The advanced user doesn't even care about that!


    The result? X is still a very unwieldy system when things don't go right. If things are perfect, the autodetection system works well, but do something delta out of ordinary and X literally regurgitates all its mess, and you can spend days trying to fix something as simple as monitors of different sizes, or different makes, or on different graphic cards.

    And let us not even talk about enabling 3D acceleration for your graphics card if it is not Nvidia.
    Oh, then there's Java configuration (Want Sun Java, some distros make it extremely difficult to switch!), Flash idiocy (another reason to hate flash), and finally..

    don't even forget actually customizing KDE/Gnome so that everything at the very least looks properly, scales properly. Mac OS X does a fantastic job of all of that. Linux can actually use quite a few tips from OS X.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Friday July 02, 2010 @12:08AM (#32769010) Homepage

    Now I use LaTeX whenever I can since the output is so beautiful and I can type lists and tables a lot faster than I can mouse them in in Word.

    And, as a bonus, it's actually amenable to version control. Nothing like being able to throw a document into cvs/svn/git/what-have-you, and have real, sensible diffs to tell you how the document changed over time, without resorting to storing all that version info in the damn document format itself where it can't be accessed by anything but specialized software designed to work with that format.

  • by Count Fenring (669457) on Friday July 02, 2010 @12:22AM (#32769088) Homepage Journal

    It is not, understandably, the standard for the soft sciences and humanities, for the simple reason that, if you don't need the ability to typeset complicated formulas (or don't need it badly enough), the cost/reward tradeoff for learning any kind of markup language is never going to look good enough to offset the initial outlay of effort.

    Add that to the comparative rarity of technically inclined people in those fields, and I'm not sure the tradeoff is worth it in the end. These are not failproof, cookie-cutter solutions, and if you add becoming familiar with the concept of markup-based styling to the effort of learning TeX specifically...

    Most soft sciences and humanities students don't have the time or background to come to grips with LaTeX, and most faculty can afford to leave formatting up to the publisher; after all, English grammar is handled reasonably well by Word.

  • by hgesser (605301) <.h.g.esser. .at. .gmx.de.> on Friday July 02, 2010 @03:07AM (#32769964) Homepage

    The default font the generated postscript files had was 1) ugly 2) always the same.

    Funny argument. In Word the default font (Times New Roman) is 1) not truly a good option for printing documents and 2) always the same. With LaTeX you can change the standard fonts as easily as you change them in Word, plus with many fonts you get modified math fonts so your math equations fit the normal text.

    [...] you can easily tell someone's thesis was done in Tex/LaTeX, while in Word you can choose slightly different fonts from the same family that made it look at least a little different from every other thesis.

    You can easily tell someone's thesis was done in Word, because the typesetting is broken and formulas look disgusting, unless the author spent hours changing things like the size of exponents. Also, when writing for a journal/conference proceedings etc., articles are meant to look the same (since they'll appear in the same book). With LaTeX you get that for free, with Word, even when using the official publisher's stylesheet, there are always minor errors in the layout.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Friday July 02, 2010 @03:58AM (#32770174)

    The default font the generated postscript files had was 1) ugly 2) always the same. Of course, the latter is a "good thing", but you can easily tell someone's thesis was done in Tex/LaTeX, while in Word you can choose slightly different fonts from the same family that made it look at least a little different from every other thesis.

    It's good to know that people in academics are concentrating on the essential.

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Friday July 02, 2010 @04:59AM (#32770492)

    What do you expect? Apple took the wind out of Slashdotters' fantasy of Linux on the desktop supplanting Windows, so there's some bitterness there.

    On the other hand, they have rather successfully put Unix on the desktop. That should count for something.

  • by lars_stefan_axelsson (236283) on Friday July 02, 2010 @05:29AM (#32770632) Homepage
    Also, for theses, the integration with BiBTeX makes LaTeX a godsend. I know of no citation management system that is as comprehensive (and works as well) as BiBTeX. I couldn't live without it (coupled with reftex-mode for emacs).

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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