CTAN upload notification: The TeXPower bundle, alpha release 0.0.9d

Reinhard Zierke zierke at dante.de
Tue May 27 12:43:21 CEST 2003

----- Forwarded message from ctan-upload -----
The following information was provided by our fellow contributor:

Name of contribution: The TeXPower bundle, alpha release 0.0.9d.
Name and email: Stephan Lehmke
Suggested location on CTAN: tex-archive/macros/latex/exptl/texpower
Summary description: A bundle of LaTeX packages and classes for making pdf beamer presentations.
License type: GNU Project

Announcement text:
   (Sorry, the summary is not brief. You can delete everything below
   and including "Among other packages" below if neccessary.)
   TeXPower is a bundle of packages intended to provide
   an `all-inclusive' environment for designing pdf
   `screen presentations' to be viewed with Adobe Acrobat[tm]
   reader in full-screen mode, especially for projecting
   `online' with a video beamer.
   The features provided include:
   * `dynamic' features like incremental building of pages,
     animated diagrams and such.
   * support for `navigation panels'
   * support for page backgrounds
   * advanced color management (`logical markup' for colors supplying
     `color sets' for different background colors, `dimming' and inverting
     of colors etc.) and color highlighting.
   * advanced font configuration.

   TeXPower is not so much meant as a help for _designing_ slides
   (a lot more in this direction is planned for the future, but 
   it is not the main purpose of the package); instead, you can 
   keep your favourite slide or presentation class (say, seminar
   or pdfscreen or ...) and add dynamic effects with
   The bundle does contain a documentclass powersem which is derived
   from seminar by a very limited number of fixes and extensions
   trying to make it a little more suited for presentations (and
   more friendly towards pdftex).
   The bundle is developed by myself (Stephan Lehmke) and Hans
   Fr. Nordhaug who is also running the SourceForge site.
   The development is coordinated by a SourceForge Project. The
   homepage is http://texpower.sourceforge.net/.
   There you'll find the newest sources in a CVS repository,
   bug and patch trackers, a user forum and mailing list,
   and pdf files for all examples.
   Among other packages for dynamic effects (most notably PPower4
   and prosper http://prosper.sourceforge.net/), TeXPower is
   distinguished by
   INDEPENDENCE: There is no postprocessor, and also no dependence on
   the way in which pdf is produced.
   VERSATILITY: Everything is implemented entirely in LaTeX, hence you
   can use whatever LaTeX programming skills you have (and the numerous
   hooks provided) to design your own presentation effects.
   There are a lot of examples in the doc directory of this bundle,
   from very simple things 
   (http://texpower.sourceforge.net/doc/simpledemo.pdf) to rather 
   involved (and not completely serious :) examples of what can
   be done (http://texpower.sourceforge.net/doc/divexample.pdf,
   TeXPower contains a small number of simple and customizeable
   basic commands and a large number of derived commands for 
   special purposes (for instance, dimming all colors on 
   a page and then incrementally `undimming').
   FRAGILITY (or maybe one should say BRITTLENESS): This is the 
   backside of versatility I'm afraid. Unfortunately it is extremely
   easy to introduce errors and irritating spacing glitches 
   (leading to parts of the page jumping and wobbling around
   during an incremental build).
   It is very helpful to have at least a basic understanding of
   the goings-on of LaTeX formatting for doing anything but the
   most basic things with TeXPower.
   While mostly the brittleness is inherent in the way texpower
   is implemented and can't be avoided at sustainable cost, it is
   our aim to reduce the impact by
   * `faultproof' customized environments like special list 
     environments with automatical incremental display of items;
   * a large number of `ready-made' examples for most common
   * an extensive FAQ list containing the most common blunders.
   Most of the above is unfinished in this alpha version.
   PRODUCTIVENESS: TeXPower tries to do a lot of things by itself,
   making it easier to design presentations.
   For instance, the \stepwise command is similar to Prosper's
   \overlays, but you don't have to count the steps yourself,
   \stepwise will determine the number of steps quite reliably
   even if steps are nested inside of other steps etc.
   Furthermore, you _can_ say explicitly at which step something
   is to appear, but you don't have to; normally steps will just
   be executed in order.
   This makes it very easy to design and edit dynamic presentations.
   ROBUSTNESS: In spite of being alpha, the code is quite stable.
   In fact, no `real' bugs were found since november 2002.
One note on the alpha status:

TeXPower has been declared pre-alpha for several years, because I 
had promised myself to respect backwards-compatibility after alpha
release and restrict distribution until this time.
But then again, I had planned to get the alpha release out in 2000...

As there are a lot of `faithful' users now, and as since GPLing 
TeXPower to put it on SourceForge, everybody is putting it in 
Linux distributions and such anyway, there is not much point in not
declaring it alpha and putting it on CTAN also...

This means the vow for backward-compatibility has to be renewed for
the beta release...

The alpha status is justified by the following problem areas:

DOCUMENTATION: Part of the documentation, especially some of the examples
and the FAQ, are still the same as for the much inferior version 0.0.8,
partly invalidating them.
Furthermore, the manual has been criticised for terseness and lack
of examples. Currently, it is written for people who know quite a
bit about LaTeX, complemented by the numerous demos showing usage
of things.
The documentation needs a lot of enhancement.

CATCODE MONGERY: Currently \stepwise takes everything to be displayed
incrementally as a macro argument in the most naive way, destroying
everything which needs to change catcodes, like language changes or
verbatim printing.
There are ways to remedy this, but all of them are complicated and/or
awkward, so this need a bit of thought and might lead to backwards-
incompatible changes of the basic commands for incremental display.

BACKGROUNDS and PANELS: The support for page backgrounds and panels
is preliminary at the moment. There will be a much more involved 
version which might not be completely backward compatibile.

LABELS and LINKS: The basic idea for incremental display in TeXPower
is to execute everything several times. This can lead to a lot
of grief with duplicated links and labels.
The most basic precautions are taken, so there shouldn't be any 
real problems in using links, but there will be a lot of warnings,
and I didn't test yet what happens with bibliography and index.

THUMBNAILS: No concept yet.

PRESENTATION DESIGN: As mentioned above, TeXPower is not mainly 
design-oriented (and I myself don't really think a presentation
gets better by fancy design), but there seems to be a definite 
need for this kind of thing.
It is planned to add more `designish' document classes and provide
a user interface for designing presentations.

PDF GIMMICKS: With a little trickery with pdf forms, JavaScript
and such, amazing things can be achieved which can be useful
for presentations (most useful for me would be `popup boxes').
So far, no special pdf features (apart from what can be achieved 
in a generic way with hyperref) are supported.
----- End forwarded message -----

Thank you very much for the upload.  I installed it as suggested in

Reinhard Zierke
for the CTAN team

More information about the Ctan-ann mailing list