Two papers on the history of LaTeX

We have added two papers on different aspects of the history of LaTeX to the site. While both are somewhat older they presents interesting accounts on the evolution of LaTeX.

The first was given by Chris Rowley at a conference selebrating Leslie Lamport’s 60th birthday and discusses the relvance of LaTeX throughout several decades (including some interesting predictions be checked against reality.

The LaTeX Legacy

  • Chris Rowley
  • Published paper, PODC ‘01 Proceedings of the twentieth annual ACM symposium on Principles of distributed computing, Pages 17-25
  • Keywords: LaTeX history, LaTeX future

  • Abstract

    The second edition of The LaTeX Manual begins: `LaTeX is a system for typesetting documents. Its first widely available version, mysteriously numbered 2.09, appeared in 1985.’

    It is too early for a complete critical assessment of the impact of LaTeX 2.09 because its world-wide effects on many aspects of many cultures, not least scientific publication, remain strong after 15 years—and that itself is significant in a technological world where a mere 15 months of fame can make and break an idea.

    Therefore this paper provides simply a review and evaluation of the relationship between TeX, LaTeX and some of the major technical developments in the world of quality automated formatting since the publication of LaTeX 2.09 in 1985. It is is neither definitive nor comprehensive but I hope it is informative.


The second is an interview carried out by Dave Walden (for the TUG interview corner) and Gianluca Pignalberi (for the Free Software Magazine).

Interview of Frank Mittelbach – A combined interview of the LaTeX Project director

  • Frank Mittelbach, Gianluca Pignalberi, Dave Walden
  • Published paper, 2006, Free Software Magazine
  • Keywords: LaTeX history, LaTeX future, LPPL, LaTeX3

  • Abstract

    Free Software Magazine (FSM) and the TeX Users Group (TUG) both like to publish interviews. Recently, Gianluca Pignalberi of Free Software Magazine and Dave Walden of TUG both approached Frank Mittelbach about interviewing him. Rather than doing two separate interviews, Mittelbach, Pignalberi, and Walden decided on a combined interview in keeping with the mutual interests already shared by Free Software Magazine and TUG.


We hope that both of them will give you some interesting insights into the LaTeX evolution.