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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” operating systems.
  • TeX was published in 1982; its version number converges to pi. The probably very last error was found in 2002 by the NTS project.
  • TeX the program is the typographical machine that is used by several different (automated) systems for their high quality output. Ut was written originally in WEB and Pascal. Nowadays most use a variant written in C. NTS was a new implementation in Java. The most important modern variant is LuaTeX.
  • TeX the language is an extensible macro language, specialized in typesetting. Prof. Knuth himself published the PlainTeX extension, basis for powerful and complex systems like LaTeX and ConTeXt.
  • TeX the lion is the whole’s mascot, drawn by Duane Bibby. His partner is Meta the lioness, like METAFONT (and derived METAPOST graphics language) is a suitable companion for TeX.

The name TeX is Greek (tekhne = art, skill) is therefore is pronounced like tekh .

What is ConTeXt?

  • ConTeXt is a modern, powerful and easily operated variant of TEX. It was mainly developed by Hans Hagen (Pragma ADE) and Taco Hoekwater from the Netherlands.
  • ConTeXt is the layout oriented alternative to the better known LaTeX.
  • ConTeXt is popular as XML processor. Also MathML, PhysML and ChemML are usable. Sinc 2010 you can export XML from TeX (e.g. for Tagged PDF or PDF/A).
  • ConTeXt is proficient in requirements of professional prepress, like imposition, spot colors and grid typesetting.
  • ConTeXt outputs to PDF and can tap the potential of current PDF versions (bookmarks, widgets, transparency, layers, JavaScript, multimedia).
  • Wikipedia has a more extensive description.

Even if TEX is pronounced like tekh , most say Kontekst – or actually Kontekht, like with a Swiss German or Dutch accent.