Writer and maintainer of the Lout FAQ/Howto.
Lout is a high-level language for document formatting. It provides facilities for typesetting complex documents containing floating figures, tables, diagrams, rotated and scaled text or graphics, footnotes, running headers, footers, an index, table of contents and bibliography, cross-references, mathematical equations and statistical graphs. Lout's capabilities can be extended with definitions which are easier to write than similar markup languages.

Lout has many advantages over better known packages such as LaTeX, particularly when it comes to integrating graphics with text. And you can actually understand Lout style sheets.

``Internet in the Library'' project
The aim here is to put in place a public Internet access booth in my local municipal library, to help the general public discover what this new technology has to offer. Though Americans and citizens of other advanced coutries may smile at the idea, in France the Internet is mysterious to all but a small fraction of the population, indeed even the use of computers is rare: at a recent computer fair the French President was fascinated by a demonstration of the use of a mouse.

If you are interested you can look at the dossier (in French, Postscript) I have presented to the mayor to ask for funding for the project. In it I try to explain what Internet is, why it deserves as place in a library side by side with more traditional media, and why I feel that public access to this technology is essential to prevent divisions in society between ``information-rich'' and ``information-poor'' citizens.

I quote from Bruce Sterling's excellent book The Hacker Crackdown :

``As computerization spreads across society, the populace at large is subjected to wave after wave of future shock. But, as a necessary converse, the "computer community" itself is subjected to wave after wave of incoming computer illiterates. How will those currently enjoying America's digital bounty regard, and treat, all this teeming refuse yearning to breathe free? Will the electronic frontier be another Land of Opportunity - or an armed and monitored enclave, where the disenfranchised snuggle on their cardboard at the locked doors of our houses of justice?

Some people just don't get along with computers. They can't read. They can't type. They just don't have it in their heads to master arcane instructions in wirebound manuals. Somewhere, the process of computerization of the populace will reach a limit. Some people - quite decent people maybe, who might have thrived in any other situation - will be left irretrievably outside the bounds. What's to be done with these people, in the bright new shiny electroworld? How will they be regarded, by the mouse-whizzing masters of cyberspace? With contempt? Indifference? Fear?''

Association Vélo de Toulouse
The Toulouse Bicycle Association aims to facilitate and encourage urban cycling in our beautiful city. Most European cities have managed to escape the blight of urban sprawl à la Los Angeles. The narrow, winding streets of their city centres, and their human dimensions, make cities like Toulouse ideally suited to alternative forms of transport: metro, tramway, cycling. Unfortunately these modern, ecological modes of urban transport are underdeveloped, and car traffic suffocates the city. Paris recently suffered from critial levels of pollution and was forced to resort to alternating traffic (pair licence plates one day, odd the next). Might there not be another way forward?

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Our association lobbies local government, asking for the construction of bike lanes, for their linkage to form a credible network, for the creation of bicycle parkings. We collaborate with the Mairie to ensure high standards of these facilities, and work with the SNCF, the French railway monopoly, to improve facilites for bike/train commuting. The association is a member of the FUBicy, which regroups bicycle associations across France to act at a national level.

CULTe is the Toulouse Linux Users Group. It is a place to meet fellow enthusiasts, to discuss the latest developments in free software and the latest bugs from Redmond, to get help on different problems. The association meets every two weeks and publishes a newsletter. We also run a mailing list (discussion is in French).

Last modified 1998-12-11 by Eric Marsden <>