Dear potential sponsor,
Thanks for visiting this page and continuing to read. Since more than 30 years I'm contributing to open source projects, in particular to the development and maintenance of LaTeX; details are listed below. In parallel, I worked most of the time in the IT industry as an architect for EDS and HP.
I'm proud to be able to say that with LaTeX we are literally serving millions of users worldwide with just a handful of volunteers doing the development and maintenance.
Lately I decided to stop my industry career and concentrate solely on my open source involvement (and some occasional free-lance consulting work to pay the bills).
Any funding via Github Sponsors will help me to reduce the still necessary free-lance activities and spend even more time on further developing and supporting LaTeX, so thank you for that!
LaTeX related activities
During my student days I fell in love with the beautiful typesetting possibilities offered by TeX and I started to develop packages like
NFSS (the font selection scheme of LaTeX), etc.
Then in 1989, when it became clear that a new LaTeX implementation was badly needed, Leslie Lamport offered me the chance to take over the future development and maintenance of LaTeX. Since these days (i.e., for 30 years now) I've been leading this effort, which is delivering today's premier computer typesetting software to you, or enables you to use it in online portals like Overleaf, etc.
Together with a handful of friends I set out at the beginning of the '90s to replace LaTeX 2.09 with a fundamentally overhauled version, ready for the next decades, and in 1993 LaTeX2e saw the light of the day. This version is still at the core of what you are using today, when you typeset documents with LaTeX, albeit in many directions further developed and enhanced.
Between then and now, the core LaTeX software has seen an average of 2-3 releases per year, and in addition the functionality was extended by many new packages over time (authored by us and by many other developers).
In parallel to developing LaTeX2e we did work on what was termed LaTeX3, and in fact already back then we managed to produce a fully working new system. However, computers at the time were way too slow to adequately support the new ideas and features and so, with a lot of regrets, we finally gave up on it---we were just too early.
However, by the beginning of this decade the situation had drastically changed. The problems we tried to address in the '90s were still unsolved, but computers got sufficiently fast, so that our ideas could now be turned into usable code.
Instead of attempting to produce a separate new LaTeX, parts of the original LaTeX3 code were converted to a sub-system within LaTeX (named
expl3, and that name stuck for some reason), and over time more and more packages started to use it. For example, if you are using one of the modern Unicode TeX engines (e.g., XeTeX or LuaTeX), then under the hood important parts use
expl3 because, for example, all the OpenType font management is written in
expl3. This coverage will be growing and we hope that with its extended programming possibilities we are able to deliver new and important features that keep LaTeX alive and healthy.
Articles, conference papers and other artifacts about the LaTeX2 and LaTeX3 work from my co-workers and me can be found at https://www.latex-project.org/publications/.
Tasks sponsored through your support
Besides general work on improving and further developing LaTeX, there are a number of areas that I work on or would like to work on, if possible.
An important task that I'm currently focussing on is making LaTeX automatically produce well-tagged PDF, so that documents produced with it require no or very little work to meet accessibility standards. Such standards are getting more and more important, and in theory (though not in praxis yet) LaTeX is well equipped to fulfill them. This will then also allow reuse of such PDFs in new and interesting ways.
Another area I'm currently working on is producing a new edition of "The LaTeX Companion". Like the first two editions of this book, a large part of this work consists in working with package authors to help correcting bugs, improving their package documentation, and/or suggesting missing features. Unfortunately, more often these days, it also can mean taking over the package support for packages that are important in my eyes, but have been abandoned by their original authors.
Finally, albeit currently only on the waiting list, I hope to find the time and the financial resources to move my research work on "Automated pagination of documents with floats" from a prototype to a fully working system for everybody to use. See https://www.latex-project.org/publications/indexbytopic/pagination/ for details.
7 sponsors are funding FrankMittelbach’s work.
Select a tier
$5 a monthSelect
Even small amounts can help a lot, especially if regularly from multiple people --- they show appreciation of my work and help me going.
You will receive a sponsor badge on Github; thanks for the support.
$10 a monthSelect
You are clearly devoted to LaTeX and want to see it prosper.
You will receive a sponsor badge on Github and lots of gratitude from me!
$20 a monthSelect
You are a hero!
You will receive a sponsor badge and acknowledgement in your preferred project of mine.
$100 a monthSelect
If you are interested in a special project and hope that I can devote time to it, get in touch with me through email and we will work out what is possible and how it could be achieved.
So this tier is really meant to be a placeholder, but of course, if you select it, because you want to support my general LaTeX work on that level, I would be very grateful indeed. You will be listed as gold sponsor in your preferred project of mine.