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Knuth Plans 'Earthshaking Announcement' Wednesday 701

Posted by kdawson
from the perhaps-metafont-ported-to dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Donald Knuth is planning to make an 'earthshaking announcement' on Wednesday, at TeX's 32nd Anniversary Celebration, on the final day of the TUG 2010 Conference. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know what it is. So far speculation ranges from proving P!=NP, to a new volume of The Art of Computer Programming, to his retirement. Maybe Duke Nukem Forever has been ported to MMIX?" Let the speculation begin.
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Knuth Plans 'Earthshaking Announcement' Wednesday

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  • Who? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:14PM (#32740096)

    Who is Knuth?

  • Likely... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:16PM (#32740124)

    He's discovered Wu Tang and Shaolin are one and the same.

  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jimbob The Mighty (1282418) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:16PM (#32740128)
    Probably that Duke Nukem Forever won't be running any dedicated servers...
  • MMIX link fail! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:17PM (#32740142)

    Probably meant to link here [].

  • by PmanAce (1679902) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:20PM (#32740158) Homepage
    Step #1: Wait for him to prove and confirm P!=NP

    Step #2: Solve for N:

    So P!=NP,

    therefore P!/P=N,

    thus the Ps cancel and we are left with N=!.

    Step #3: ???

    Step #4: Profit!

  • by Xenophore (1260104) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:22PM (#32740178)
    TeX has been adopted by W3 as the new HTML 6 standard.
    • by haystor (102186) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:38PM (#32740296)




      • by lahvak (69490) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:11AM (#32740400) Homepage Journal

        I believe that should be

        \setupawesome[extra awesome]




      • by bickerdyke (670000) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @03:38AM (#32741404)

        What about TeX stopping to use this unreadable syntax and moving to xml?

        As much as I like this whole "compile your text to different outputs"-thing and the results of TeX layout, the markup language is a PITA!

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by kikito (971480)

          If we are moving away from unreadable, I'd suggest JSON or YAML, not xml.

        • by sco08y (615665) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @04:32AM (#32741698)

          What about TeX stopping to use this unreadable syntax and moving to xml?

          If TeX is unreadable, XML is unwritable and unreadable. At any rate, TeX itself is low-level, and when you use a package like LaTeX it becomes far more user-friendly.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          As much as I like this whole "compile your text to different outputs"-thing and the results of TeX layout, the markup language is a PITA!

          <paragraph><facepalm>Of course, because XML<superscript>TM</superscript> is <font style="italicized">so</font> much <font color="red" style="boldface">better!</font></facepalm></paragraph>

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:22PM (#32740180)

    So it probably TeX related. I don't see Knuth going off topic so much. Of course, the TeX engine is earth in that community, so who knows?

  • TeX (Score:5, Funny)

    by pwnies (1034518) <> on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:24PM (#32740186) Homepage Journal
    TeX 3.15 will get released. Subsequently, the universe will collapse.
  • by vbraga (228124) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:31PM (#32740230) Journal

    ... Knuth migrated to Word 2010.

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:37PM (#32740280) Homepage
    He has a deal with the mysterious British agency known as the Laundry. He doesn't publish the fourth volume and they don't render him metabolically inactive. Don't any of you pay attention to what Charlie Stross has to say?
  • by Yaa 101 (664725) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:43PM (#32740332) Journal

    That he is a computer simulation fooling all of us for over 50 years...

  • or just (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kohath (38547) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:30AM (#32740510)

    drink a beer, relax, and wait until tomorrow for the announcement. Which is sure to be disappointing now.

    I predict he announces that computer programming is best practiced as a semi-automated assembly-line-style set of interchangeable tasks rather than an "art". He'll say that programming as an "art" is anachronistic. inefficient, and impractical, and that the conventional approach and the people who promote it have been holding back progress in software creation because a faster, cheaper, more modern, dumbed-down approach doesn't appeal to them professionally or aesthetically.

    And then he'll announce his new software construction method that can be done by ordinary people with a short period of training for 1/5th what computer programmers make. It works great, but it's boring and repetitive and never creative. It delivers software in a predictable amount of time with a predictable budget and reasonable (also predictable) quality. And the development costs less than half of conventional approaches.

    That's my prediction.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I appreciate the soothsaying, but I think I speak for most on /. when I say I hope you're wrong!! (even though you are right about (most) software development)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ZeroExistenZ (721849)

        when I say I hope you're wrong

        Miscrosoft has been in the camp to try to simplify programming for years to make it more accessible. They have been failing miserably, getting stuck in often dead ends and each "developer congress" they announce their new approaches, idea's, trends, ... and each year I think "yes, I can see where this need was and why the implemented this approach or feature", yet when you try to use much of it, it's like all other software.

        They have been doing this for years, still fail (while

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <> on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:34AM (#32740538) Homepage

    If the boobs didn't do it, a mathematical proof won't either. :P

  • MMIX? MMX? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by retchdog (1319261) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:43AM (#32740600) Journal

    I get the sense that this is a tongue-in-cheek announcement? It's 2010, so maybe it'll be the MMX machine?

    Let's see. Wednesday: July 7, 2010 = 7-7-7DA. 20th anniversary of TeX. Hmm. I can't figure it out, but I'd put my money on an elegant technical curiosity which doubles as elaborate pun and extended joke, kind of like MMIX [].

  • by DowdyGoat (1830958) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:43AM (#32740602)

    He's obviously figured out an algorithm to predict earthquakes, and he's determined that one will happen during or just after his presentation! And, of course, he'll announce it.

    You need to think more literally!

  • by kaoshin (110328) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:52AM (#32740652)
    My name is Donald Knuth. And if you study with my 8 week program, you will learn a system of self defense that I developed over two seasons of fighting in the octagon! Its called Don Kwan Do!
  • by Shaterri (253660) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:56AM (#32740672)

    So far as I know, Knuth has done essentially zero work related to the P/NP question; a lot of algorithmics and tons of fantastic work in combinatorics, but I can't think of a single significant result he's contributed to complexity theory. While it's not impossible that he could have some sort of 'outsider breakthrough', it seems almost infinitesimally unlikely given the mathematical context and techniques that have had to be developed for similar complexity problems. My money would be on either a formal open-sourcing of the TeX codebase or the development of a full HTML5 rendering engine for TeX along the lines of the system that uses.

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki.cox@net> on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @01:03AM (#32740704)

    He proves P != NP.

    Due to limitations with TeX can't be bothered to fit it into the margins

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @01:33AM (#32740862) Journal

    A new edition of TAoCP will be announced, with all code snippets rewritten in JavaScript.

  • This is what he looks like: []

    Now compare him with everyone else - they've all got face hair: [] Edsger Dijkstra (come on ...), Alan Kay (oop), Bjarne Stroustrup (c++), Brian Kernighan (unix, c), Dennis Ritchie (c), Ken Thompson (unix), John McCarthy (lisp), Richard Stallman (gnu), Steve Wozniak (apple), Larry Wall (perl), Alan Cox (linux kernel), James Gosling (java), Grady Booch (uml), "Maddog" Jon Hall (linux intl), Manuel Blum (cryptography), Robin Milner (ml), Philip Wadler (haskell, xquery), Jaron Lanier (virtual reality), Niklaus Wirth (Euler, Algol W, Pascal, Modula, Modula-2, Oberon), C.A.R. Hoare (quicksort), Robert Tarjan (splay trees), Dan Bricklin (visicalc), Phil Katz (pkzip), Jon Postel (rfc), Larry Ellson (oracle).

  • Hold on... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Roy van Rijn (919696) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @03:02AM (#32741240) Homepage
    There's a conference for TeX? That's an earth shattering thought on its own!
  • by xiox (66483) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @04:35AM (#32741712) Homepage

    Here it is []

  • by WillAdams (45638) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @09:12PM (#32752126) Homepage

    (posting this from the Sir Francis Drake Hotel)

    a successor to TeX which he has been working on for some time

    scratch tex78 and tex82

    so making up for assumptions which don't fit the internet age

    jokes about measuring and math in TeX .4pt == .3999pt

    maxdimen too small, 1sp too large

    tunnel vision caused by computers of the day

    subset of XML uses Unicode automatic everything

    all directions and all dimensions


    text audio video sensors GPScoords accelerometers haptics

    midi input to score and back to music

    no macros --- menu driven like Word but enhanced

    spoken command and gestures

    \i \TeX (wrapped on a sphere)

    spoken name accompanied by (optional) ringing bell

    not programmed directly

    1289 bugs in TeX
    571 bugs in metafont

    Project Marianne

    Project Biturgical

    written in Scheme using all buzzwords

    pricing - monthly subscription on cloud

    first year one month free

    pricing based on internet speed

    will change everyday

    life is too short to reread anything

    will benefit world's economy, user's can sell documents

    network of certified consultants

    online help
      - for dummies
      - for wizards
      - personalized on-line

    symbolic equations
    satellite photos

    \i\TeX hyper document

    math mode like mathml --- must evaluate


    hyperbolic geometry


    world-class photo retouching

    character, face, speech recignition


    output format:
      - lasercutters
      - embroidering machines
      - 3D printers
      - plasma cutters

    interactive cookbook

    life as hypertext document

    released next month

    pending patent applications

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