ACCEPTED: Packaging-con: Tools for packaging and using Portable TeX Documents

Zenny garbytrash at
Thu Sep 23 09:46:24 CEST 2021

Congrats, John. Best of luck!

On 9/22/21, Norbert Preining <norbert at> wrote:
> Hi
> Congratulations, so there will be two talks on TeX, mine has been accepted,
> too.
> See you there
> Norbert
> --
> PREINING Norbert                    
> Fujitsu               + IFMGA ProGuide + TU Wien + TeX Live + Debian Dev
> GPG: 0x860CDC13   fp: F7D8 A928 26E3 16A1 9FA0 ACF0 6CAC A448 860C DC13
> Sep 23, 2021 05:38:25 Jonathan Fine <jfine2358 at>:
>> Hi
>> I am a sucker. My talk proposal for has been
>> accepted. I'm a bit flattered as I'm new to packaging, and they accepted
>> 67 out of 95 full talk proposals. The conference itself is Tuesday 9 and
>> Wednesday 10 November.
>> I now have to write and deliver a talk. It would also be good to have at
>> least one working example that people can play with.
>> I hope some of you will help me with this, or at least answer some of my
>> questions. The rest of this message is the ACCEPTED proposal. I'll keep
>> you posted, particularly of other talks that might be relevant to our
>> community.
>> The conference fee is quite modest (unless your
>> employer is paying). By the way, the conference is organized in
>> partnership with NumFOCUS, who've been sponsoring MathJax since 2019. The
>> already there's another TeX connection.
>> Happy TeXing
>> Jonathan
>> Title: Tools for packaging and using Portable TeX Documents
>> Abstract:
>> Both software and documents have dependencies. This talk focuses on
>> managing document dependencies, to reduce both network and computation
>> latency, and to ensure reproducible build (or typesetting) behaviour. Web
>> development has a strong focus on reducing user experienced latency, as
>> does serverless cloud computing.
>> At present human activity and large downloads are required to achieve
>> these goals for TeX documents.  To improve matters the speaker has
>> introduced the concept of Portable TeX Documents (PTD).  The PTD concept
>> is intended to bring to source documents and the TeX community benefits
>> similar to the benefits Portable Document Format (PDF) brought to Word
>> users and Adobe.
>> The concepts and tools underlying PTD, particularly mounting git as a
>> read-only file system, and the use of git backing stores (alternate object
>> databases) are likely to be useful elsewhere. This is particularly true
>> when most of the variability of a system lies in a small folder of text
>> files (which is the case for TeX's typesetting inputs).
>> Description:
>> Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) stores the output of a typesetting
>> process. It includes a structured storage system for storing dependencies
>> such as fonts, graphics, multimedia objects and other resources. The
>> speaker is creating similar tools and standards for the inputs to a
>> typesetting process. It will allow authors and others to collaborate using
>> Portable TeX Documents (PDT).
>> A key technology will be git used with a backing store (ie alternate
>> object database). Each PDT will be a git tree containing all typesetting
>> inputs. Shared resources such as fonts and style files will be placed in
>> the backing store. Being able to mount a git repository as a read-only
>> file system would be very helpful. Use of PTD will greatly reduce the
>> human, bandwidth and storage cost of typesetting a new TeX document in
>> your inbox. It will also greatly increase the sender's confidence that
>> your output will be identical to theirs.
>> The basic idea of PDT is to use git with a backing store. This technology
>> and associated tools will be most helpful when most of the variability of
>> the system lies in a small folder of text files (which is the case for
>> TeX's typesetting inputs). For more information see [video discussion of
>> Portable TeX
>> Documents](


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