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A summary of the TeX project


LaTeX and ConTeXt
Donald Knuth Scientist
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I developed TeX so that it... it would support many different formats that would be at a higher level.  So... TeX is... is a fixed point that people can build on, and one of the main ways that people have built on it, is LaTeX and different versions of LaTeX improving over the years. Another very important system goes way beyond LaTeX, called ConTeXt... or ConTeXt... I don't know how they pronounce it, it comes in a Dutch... in Holland they... they have very interesting pronunciation in Holland.  And... but certainly, way most popular is LaTeX... LaTeX... the author never has decided how to pronounce it.  And... and I don't use it myself, it's... but... but I know that lots of people really think it's exactly the... the language that's... that's most convenient, you know, for... for them to use. So... so I developed... I developed the basic system so that it would support many different styles for special projects. If somebody wants to write a...a dictionary between Chinese and Icelandic, they can make their own format that would make this really convenient for them.  And there's many... many scholarly versions and... all kinds of versions, so I... I tried to make it easy to... to build different... different structures upon. I have special formats that my wife and I use for family history reports and for our... for our recipes in the kitchen and things like this.  And... each one... each one looks different when you type the computer file, but... but TeX is the engine underneath in all cases.

Born in 1938, American computing pioneer Donald Knuth is known for his greatly influential multi-volume work, 'The Art of Computer Programming', his novel 'Surreal Numbers', his invention of TeX and METAFONT electronic publishing tools and his quirky sense of humor.

Listeners: Dikran Karagueuzian

Trained as a journalist, Dikran Karagueuzian is the director of CSLI Publications, publisher of seven books by Donald Knuth. He has known Knuth since the late seventies when Knuth was developing TeX and Metafont, the typesetting and type designing computer programs, respectively.

Tags: TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt

Duration: 1 minute, 57 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008