The spring 2020 LaTeX release is available

When we realized that the next LaTeX release was scheduled close to a rather memorable day, we decided to delay the release by one day so that it will now appear officially on February the 2nd 2020 (or on 20 20 02 02 if you use the ISO-date and arrange the spaces somewhat unconventionally). This release introduces a number of important enhancements and so being able to use this date is a rather nice opportunity to mark its importance.

LaTeX now contains the L3 programming layer as part of its format

This results in noticeable speed improvements for many documents because these days they often (implicitly) load expl3 at some point in the preamble. This is the case for virtually all documents processed with a Unicode engine, but also true for many pdfTeX documents, because more and more packages use xparse or other expl3-based code. Also important (and maybe more so) it will enable us to successfully tackle large and difficult problems, such as automatically producing tagged and accessible documents, in the near future.

The LaTeX Font Selection Scheme (NFSS) got a face lift

It now integrates some important enhancements that have been developed in the recent years, including ideas from the packages fontspec, fontaxes and mweights. Beside other improvements this will better support the new font families that are made available for use with LaTeX, because a large number of them provide additional font faces (e.g., small caps italic, or a condensed series) and those could not be supported in the old NFSS in a natural way.

Where to learn more …

The new features and most the important bug fixes made in this release are documented in “LaTeX2e News Issue 31”. This document can be found on the LaTeX2e news page where you will also find release information for earlier LaTeX releases.

Topics are:

  • Experiences with the LaTeX-dev formats
  • Concerning this release … (LuaLaTeX engine)
  • Improved load-times for expl3
  • Improvements to LaTeX font selection: NFSS
  • Other changes to the LaTeX kernel
  • Changes to packages in the graphics category
  • LaTeX requirements on engine primitives

Happy LaTeXing — Frank