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fiëé TeXnique

What is TeX?

  • TeX is a command-based typesetting system by Prof. Donald E. Knuth.
  • TeX is open source and thus at home on “all” systems.
  • TeX was published in 1982; version number is approxing Pi. The very last error was found in 2002 by NTS project.
  • TeX the program is the typographical engine used by several automatical systems for their high-quality output. Originally it was written in WEB and Pascal. Nowadays mostly a C-based version is used. NTS was a new implementation in Java. The most important modern version is LuaTeX.
  • TeX the language is an extensible macro language, specialised on typesetting. Prof. Knuth himself wrote the PlainTeX extension, basis for mighty and complex systems like LaTeX and ConTeXt.
  • TeX the lion is our lovable mascot, drawn by Duane Bibby. His mate is Meta the lioness, like METAFONT (and its derivate METAPOST) are TeX’s companions).

What is ConTeXt?

  • ConTeXt is a modern, mighty and easy variant of TeX. It was developed mainly by Hans Hagen (Pragma ADE) and Taco Hoekwater from the Netherlands.
  • ConTeXt is the layout-oriented alernative to the well-known LaTeX.
  • ConTeXt is popular as a XML processor. Usabel are e.g. XHTML, MathML, PhysML and ChemML. Since 2010 also the direction from TeX to XML is possible (e.g. for Tagged PDF or PDF/A).
  • ConTeXt handles prepress requirements like imposition, spot colors and grid setting.
  • ConTeXt normally uses PDF as output format and can employ the possibilities of current PDF versions (widgets, transparency, layers, JavaScript, multimedia).
  • There’s a more extensive in presentation in Wikipedia.