[tex-live] Sad news: Sebastian Rahtz

Simon Cozens simon at simon-cozens.org
Thu Mar 17 00:07:37 CET 2016

Hello all,

I'm sorry to have to inform the TeX Live community that Sebastian Rahtz
passed away on the 15th of March. He was diagnosed with late-stage brain
tumours last autumn, and retired as the Chief Data Architect for the
University of Oxford IT Services before Christmas last year.

SPQR contributed to huge swathes of the TeX world between 1985 and 2000;
he founded TeX Live in 1996. He was one of the main instantiators of the
CTAN and responsible for the site's structure; he was involved in many
aspects of the TUG and UK-TUG community, including serving as TUG
secretary, chair of the technical council and member of the TUG board.
He wrote the hyperref package, now maintained by Heiko Oberdiek. He was
the first recipient of the UK Open Source Award.

Sebastian was the author of the LaTeX Graphics Companion and the LaTeX
Web Companion. From the 2000s onward, much of his time and energy
switched to the web, and Sebastian was occupied with XSL, Format Objects
and the Text Encoding Initiative, leaving less time for TeX work. He
stepped down from the TeX Live project in 2004.

In a 2009 interview for TUG[1], he said "I pride myself on having passed
on most of my TeX projects and not hung on to them in a dog-in-a-manger
way." That as many be, I'm sure for many of us, the name of Sebastian
Rahtz is still very much associated with TeX, and certainly for me at
least, the name of TeX is still very much associated with Sebastian Rahtz.

Please remember his widow Leonor and his two daughters.


[1] https://tug.org/interviews/rahtz.html

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