A Message from the President

Mimi Lafrenz Jett

Interactive Composition Corporation
1466 NW Front Avenue, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97209-2820

Greetings, TUG Members!

What a wonderful time this is! As we begin a new year of publication and thank our good fortune that we are able to continue as a strong, lively, group, I wish to reflect on the events of the past weeks in TUG land. Beginning in New York at the TeX/Northeast conference, I was happy to see many old, and many new faces enjoying the information and education available in the high-quality presentations. In addition, we were fortunate to enjoy the company and community of the TeX users assembled, and extend our friendship to the folks that had never experienced the goodwill of our organization.

The TeX/NE conference was the result of an outcry of members attending the TUG'97 conference in San Francisco last summer. They wanted more training, more information focused on the needs of the everyday user, and a format which included not only the basics, but also a look at coming developments that will enhance their use of TeX and lead to future applications of the technology we employ. And what a success it was! Not only did we hear some of the real advantages of using TeX in our current situations, Alan Hoenig and Anita Hoover organized a program which included vital information about the developments for the Web, of the flexibility possible, and the fundamental issues facing TeX production systems. Many people contributed to the success of this conference, and I would like to thank the organizing committee, notably Sue DeMeritt, Cheryl Ponchin, Heidi Sestrich, Stephanie Hogue, Stacey Sensing and Don DeLand. I am certain we will see many of the fine papers from that meeting appear here, in TUGboat.

Immediately following TeX/NE was the 10th EuroTeX conference in St. Malo, France. Having a double dose of TeX was great fun, especially in such incredible venues. The meeting in St. Malo was planned to coincide with EP'98, which provided additional depth to the conference and the community at large. This important gathering described the present and defined the future of electronic publishing. It is extremely exciting to see what has been developed, and how integral TeX is in our daily world already, from the techexplorer plug-in to the font design for telephone directories. But the thing that really set the tone for the meeting, and made it an event I will always remember, was the camaraderie of the people from literally dozens of countries all over the world. The program and related events were top-notch, and I want to thank GUTenberg, and especially Michel Goossens, Bernard Gaulle, and Barbara Auzeby, and the Presidents of the Program and Organizing Committees, Michèle Jouhet and Jacques André, for the outstanding work they did.

The highlight of the conference, for me, was a dinner hosted by GUTenberg for the presidents of the local TeX User Groups. There were eleven of us at the table, representing ten countries. It was like participating in the United Nations, except we were talking about things that really matter. One of the ideas that came from that evening was a proposal for a discussion group of all the presidents to communicate about issues and developments. There are so many individual initiatives happening all over the globe, and interested TeXxies that might help or support them, that this list would provide a venue for announcing or requesting resources. In addition, some of the local groups have resources to contribute if a project fits their objectives. One great example of this is the gift by DANTE of CDs for distribution to all TUG members.

Last year, we distributed TeXLive v2 to all TUG members, and it was highly appreciated. Our membership is growing now for the first time in several years, partially due to the CD. In this issue you are receiving the latest `Live' disk, TeXLive v3, and in addition, 4AllTeX, the Windows TeX program developed by our friends in The Netherlands, NTG. (Please access the README file for instructions.) Both of these disks are gifts of DANTE; the total cost of manufacturing has been covered by the generosity of DANTE. Marion Neubauer, the President of DANTE, announced this gift at the EuroTeX conference. Both Marion and Joachim Lammarsch have been strong supporters of TeX and TUG for many years. Joachim led the DANTE organization for its first ten years, and has recently stepped down. We owe a world of thanks to Joachim for all of his service to DANTE and TUG over the years. His kind of vision and leadership are a wonderful asset to our community.

In the next issue, you will receive a 3-CD set of the complete CTAN archive, again a gift of DANTE! We hope you enjoy all of this valuable information, and find many uses for it as you use TeX. Please drop a note or email to our friends at DANTE with your thanks and appreciation.

In closing, I'd like to offer a round of applause -- no, make that a standing ovation -- to Mimi Burbank, Barbara Beeton, and the entire TUGboat team! These tireless volunteers contribute so much of their time, and themselves, to make this a pertinent publication. Thank you!

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