The annual Speaker Meeting and AGM took place on Saturday at Trinity College, Oxford. We had a mix of talks as well of course the AGM. The talks were recorded and we hope to make them available over the coming days.
The day began as usual with some informal talk over coffee, giving everyone a chance to catch up or in several cases meet for the first time. We had a good turnout so there was a lot of lively discussion all day.
The morning talks focussed on TeX running remotely on web servers. Joseph Wright started us off looking at the work the LaTeX3 team have been doing recently to automate testing of the
expl3 programming environment using a web service called Travis-CI. Joseph looked at the approaches available to automating installation of TeX on a remote machine, how it integrates with testing and how this allows the test system to be extended without impacting on day-to-day work of the team.
Jonathan Fine spoke next about the Chromebook challenge: offering TeX to systems with no ability to install software. Jonathan focussed in particular on creating local servers (dedicated hardware) which avoid the need to be ‘always connected’.
The third talk of the morning came from Kaveh Barzagan, current UK-TUG Chair. Kaveh outlined work done by his company in creating a (potentially) end-to-end publishing system using XML as the data storage format via a web interface. This system uses TeX for the typeset output but also offers a range of other formats depending on user requirements. Kaveh showed a range of impressive features and this threw up a lot of interesting ideas.
There was lively discussion over the lunch break is various small groups which took us nicely to the formal business of the day: the AGM. Details of the AGM will be sent to members separately.
The afternoon session was focussed more on using TeX locally as an end user. David Carlisle gave us the first talk, detailing how the LaTeX team have been addressing the ‘new’ TeX engines in the kernel. In particular, David focussed on the requirements LuaTeX has in terms of low-level support and what the team have done to address those.
Kaveh gave us a second talk looking at how he’s creating a GUI for adjusting the design of LaTeX documents. Kaveh showed how by extracting the parameters from package into a defined format he can provide (nearly) instant feedback on how adjusting these settings alters the look of documents without the user needing to understand the underlying TeX code.
The day finished with a photo of all of the (current and former) UK-TUG Chairs present and (almost) all of the delegates.
(Left-to-right: Jonathan Fine, Peter Kirby, Eddie Mizzi, Jay Hammond, Kaveh Barzagan, Joseph Wright, David Carlisle, Simon Dales, Brent Longborough, Chris Rowley. Missing from picture: Phil Molyneux. Picture Credit: Brent Longborough.)