Rethinking TeX in STEM: Online Thu 29 Sep: 6.30pm BST (UK time): From the TeX Hour

Christopher Dimech dimech at
Tue Sep 27 14:24:46 CEST 2022

> Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 11:43 PM
> From: "Zdenek Wagner" <zdenek.wagner at>
> To: "Christopher Dimech" <dimech at>
> Cc: "Ulrike Fischer" <news3 at>, "TeXhax" <texhax at>, "TeX Live" <tex-live at>
> Subject: Re: Rethinking TeX in STEM: Online Thu 29 Sep: 6.30pm BST (UK time): From the TeX Hour
> út 27. 9. 2022 v 13:04 odesílatel Christopher Dimech <dimech at> napsal:
> >
> >
> > > Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 10:29 PM
> > > From: "Ulrike Fischer" <news3 at>
> > > To: tex-live at
> > > Cc: texhax at
> > > Subject: Re: Rethinking TeX in STEM: Online Thu 29 Sep: 6.30pm BST (UK time): From the TeX Hour
> > >
> > > Am Tue, 27 Sep 2022 12:05:49 +0200 schrieb Christopher Dimech:
> > >
> > > > Would you have required reference from authority source to the Jews you
> > > > found as you entered the extermination camps in German-occupied Europe.
> > > > Or reference from the people who sufferred frem the Soviet Gulag System.
> > >
> > > Misusing the horror of the extermination camps to make a petty
> > > argument against a software is inacceptable and disrespectful to the
> > > victims of these camps.
> >
> > This is where me disagree.  It is a valid contrarian view for the absolute requirement
> > of documented proof by what some decide to call authority.  Naturally, I am not here
> > to dictate how people run the event.  For one thing, this shows how computer science and
> > computer engineering departments today are not providing much innovation to their
> > community.  What people can do is to encourage their computer science and computer
> > engineering departments about the value of working on honest development of technology
> > that serves the best interests of those who use the software rather than some other entity.
> >
> > I provided an explanation on valid reasons to thumb down the use of Zoom.  But some got really
> > offended.  I am used to the approach of individuals whose modus-operandi involve insults,
> > shame, guilt and the need to be right.  People whose education has educated them out of it.
> >
> > I did not have more to say than the initial comments.  Yet I see quite a few starting freaking
> > out about it.  It is the latter part that has been unnecessary.  Who have I disrespected exactly.
> > The mathematical community has a reputation in the world that it can take criticism.  But perhaps
> > Grigori Perelman was right to reject the community's accolades.  So I shall continue to be his
> > friend and agree with him.
> >
> >
> >
> I am sorry being off topic but I do not understand it well. The zoom
> server which hosts my meetings is physically located in the Czech
> Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic, and is operated by the
> best experts at network security. Can you explain me how exactly the
> server is censored from China and how the personal data are leaked? I
> will then forward it to the experts and they will certainly find a
> solution and make it available to other hosts. Anyway, in both the
> open source and closed source SW it is normal that people do not just
> speak about vulnerabilities but they either fix them and publish the
> patches or report them immediately to expert. Why you have not done
> that? These vulnerabilities could have been fixed a long time ago if
> you acted as you should.

Remember that two years ago, work with New York State Attorney General 
Letitia James led to the launch of an inquiry into Zoom's privacy and
security practices, with Zoom continuing with its policy of not admitting
to any wrongdoing whatsoever.  
> In the open source world meritocracy is applied. Those who contribute
> most have higher right to decide. Those who do not contribute can file
> a feature request but they have no right to decide. I have good
> experience with zoom, terrible experience with MS Teams and Jitsi is
> difficult, it happened several times that other users were not able to
> connect.
> Anyway, if you develop an alternative to zoom which will be equally
> stable and available at reasonable price, I will probably switch to
> it.

I understand your point.  There would be benefits that would bring those
who currently refuse Zoom for them to speak or for them to listen to your 
meetings.  Still, many do contribute even though they do not get involved
in any such meetings.

The only people who would benefit from what I said in your community itself,
I do not gain much from it.  As you said, I have no rights or authority to
decide anything.  I leave the community to take the direction it wants.
You do it on your own and at your risk, and I will not be involved in it.  
In my community, you are welcome, but we do not use Zoom, that's all.

Thank you so very much
> Zdeněk Wagner

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