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February, 2019

Welcome to the first of an ongoing series of (at most) monthly newsletters on topics of interest to the PreTeXt community. 1 Yes, you are supposed to be seeing the raw PreTeXt input! This is a PreTeXt newsletter, so it should be in PreTeXt, right? Congratulations on your ability to read PreTeXt source. If you really want so see it in a different form, change newsletter to article and then convert it to HTML.

Section 1 On the horizon

All those enhancements and feature requests, will they ever happen? Some of them will:

  • Braille output. Rob Beezer is hot on the trail of converting PreTeXt to braille. This includes having math formulas rendered as Nemeth Braille, a special code for mathematics. This work is made possible by enhancements to MathJax 3, which includes Volker Sorge's work on Nemeth Braille output of math formulas.
  • One-click PreTeXt conversion. Wouldn't it be great if you only had to enter one simple command to take care of every aspect of converting PreTeXt to whatever other format you wanted? Dave Rosoff is working to make that a reality. Eventually you will be able to click a button without even leaving Sublime Text.

What else is coming down the pike? (Do I mean pipe?) Stay tuned.

Section 2 Featured feature

Did you know that it is possible to highlight text in the HTML version? It is, if you have logged in to the HTML version. Logging in is enabled if you have assigned a document-id before building the HTML. See line 137 of the sample article for an example of how to assign the document-id.

Note that we hope to have document-ids be unique across all PreTeXt documents. Some existing document-ids are: beezer-FCLA, judson-AATA, boelkins-ACS, and keller-AC. If you mimic those ids, you are likely to be unique!

To log in to the HTML version, hover your mouse near the upper-right corner of the page until you see login appear. Click on it. See the sample article for an example.

A more transparent login interface is planned. Suggestions welcome.

Section 3 Stay informed

Are you teaching, or will you ever teach, combinatorics or discrete math? Sign up for Oscar Levin's Newsletter. Oscar's newsletter will contain nothing but 100% useful information, about his discrete math book as well as other discrete and combinatorics textbooks and resources.

Section 4 Help wanted

Harsh reality: You do not have all of the skills and time needed to produce an excellent book -- you need help from other people.

Exactly what help do you most need? Maybe better graphics. Maybe smoother writing. Maybe better motivational sentences at the start of each section. Maybe more examples or more exercises. Whatever it is, being aware of what you need is a step in the right direction. Send email to David Farmer and we will try to put your "Help wanted" ad in a future issue of this newsletter. Only by working together can we replicate the resources of a well-funded traditional publisher.