About LaTeX

From the FAQ:

TeX is a typesetting system written by Donald E. Knuth, who saîd that it is “intended for the creation of beautiful books — and especially for books that contain a lot of mathematics”. It’s actually a pretty good general typesetting system. Knuth developed the first version of TeX in 1978. The idea proved popular and Knuth produced a second version (in 1982) which is the basis of what we use today.

LaTeX is a TeX macro package, originally written by Leslie Lamport, that provides a document processing system. LaTeX allows markup to describe the structure of a document, so that the user need not think about presentation. By using document classes and add-on packages, the same document can be produced in a variety of different layouts. Lamport’s last version of LaTeX was LaTeX 2.09, last updated in 1992.

(LaTeX 2e) superseded LaTeX 2.09 in 1994, provided by the LaTeX team. LaTeX 2e is now the only readily-available version of LaTeX, and draws together several threads of LaTeX development from the later days of LaTeX 2.09.It has several enhancements over LaTeX 2.09 LaTeX 2e is now “feature frozen”.

LaTeX 3 will be the next version and is in development since years. Parts are already used by the LaTeX we know and its packages.

LaTeX development continues, with amazing results. For example, take a look at TikZ or PGFplots - who would have thought that this is done by TeX today. And these are just 2 extension packages amoung thousands.