The NTS project was created under the aegis of DANTE e.V. during a meeting held at Hamburg in 1992; its brief was to investigate the possibility of perpetuating all that is best in TeX whilst being free from the constraints which TeX's author, Prof. Knuth, has placed on its evolution. The group is now investigating both conservative and radical evolutionary paths for TeX-derived typesetting systems, these being respectively e-TeX (extended TeX) and NTS (a New Typesetting System). The group is also concerned that whilst TeX itself is completely stable and uniform across all platforms, the adjuncts which accompany it vary from implementation to implementation and from site to site, and has therefore proposed that a `canonical TeX kit' be specified, which once adopted could safely be assumed to form a part of every TeX installation. Work is now well advanced on the e-TeX project, whilst the group are concurrently involved in identifying the key components of a complete portable TeX system and in investigating sources of funding which will allow the NTS project to become a reality.
Note: Excerpt from the progress report of the NTS group. Appeared in TUGboat 15(1994), No. 3, pp. 353-358 and will be soon available on this WWW server.
For discussions about the concept of NTS and e-TeX the mail discussion list nts-l was initiated. To subscribe, send an e-mail to
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A short overview of the discussions and NTS ideas can be found in the frequently asked questions (FAQ) list.