[OS X TeX] TeX and the wild wild world out there

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Wed Nov 29 05:42:05 EST 2006

An observation: I've been taking part in scientific conferences for  
some time now:

- About 15 years ago, instructions for authors were provided (paper  
size, margins, presentation of title, of name and affiliation, and so  
forth), and that was it.

- About 10 years ago, a LaTeX style was provided, implementing the  

- About 5 years ago, both instructions and a LaTeX style were  
provided, and in addition a Word template was also provided,  
implementing more-or-less (generally partially) what was already  
present in the LaTeX style, for those authors more accustomed to Word.

- This year, for the first time I'm seeing a conference <http:// 
www2.sese.uwa.edu.au/issf2006/papers/paper_submissions.html> in which  
the instructions are implemented as a carefully crafted Word style,  
with detailed instructions of use. A LaTeX style is also provided,  
for those authors more accustomed to LaTeX, but this style implements  
only partially the instructions for authors and, for those it  
implements, is largely erroneous.

Thus, within a decade, it seems TeX has turned from a de-facto  
standard into an afterthought. This reminded me of the discussion we  
had some time ago here, about Word being considered more and more as  
good enough even for academic mathematical prose.

(The above is in no case meant as a criticism of the organizers of  
the conference: I know from experience what a frantic job the  
organization of a conference is, and it's already kind of a miracle  
when one finds the time to prepare a template for the authors,  
whatever software that is for.)

I'm not sure that anything can be done about that state of things,  
but I thought people might be interested by the observation.

Bruno Voisin
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