Tectonic is just one piece of the huge and venerable TeX/LaTeX ecosystem. There’s a lot to learn!

We have begun work on **The Tectonic Book**, which we hope will one day serve as
the definitive Tectonic manual and reference. It is currently quite sparse —
requests for content are welcome!

While we work on the book, here are some topics to get you started.

- Learn how to write LaTeX documents
- Learn about the TeX programming language
- Learn about the Tectonic program

To learn about ways you can contribute to the Tectonic community, mosey on over to the Contribute page.

**If you need help**, try the
Tectonic discussion forum on GitHub. You can search prior discussions for help
and post a new topic if no one seems to have run into your particular problem
before.

## How to write LaTeX documents

If you’re just getting started as a TeX/LaTeX user, there are literally hundreds of LaTeX tutorials out there. Try the LaTeX wikibook, which is freely available and is continually modified and improved. But if that doesn’t do the trick for you, just use your favorite search engine and explore.

The Tectonic authors have to admit that it’s been a long, long time since they’ve needed a LaTeX tutorial, so they’re not sure what the best resources are. Consider making a suggestion in a new GitHub issue if you’ve got one!

If you’re a more experienced user, the TeX/LaTeX StackExchange site is an excellent resource, with frequent contributions from the architects of LaTeX themselves. But we’re more than happy to answer LaTeX questions on the Tectonic discussion forum too.

## The TeX programming language

TeX is a full-fledged computer programming language. You can write documents without knowing its details, but you can achieve some very powerful effects if you learn them.

The canonical reference is *The TeXbook*, written by the creator of TeX
himself, Donald Knuth. You can find it
on Amazon and
probably at
your local library
too. Please be warned, though, that various parts of The TeXbook *are not
applicable to Tectonic* because it inherits numerous extensions to the
traditional TeX language provided by
e-TeX,
pdftex, and
XeTeX.

Also please know that **many people find The TeXbook to be extremely
unhelpful**. You can tell that it’s written by a mathematician, that’s for
sure. Unfortunately, we’re not aware of any alternatives that explain the
language in any comparable detail.

Getting into even more depth, we maintain a digital book entitled *XeTeX: A
Pseudoprogram*, which presents the core algorithms of XeTeX in pseudocode.
This is a derivative of the book *TeX: The Program*, by Donald Knuth,
which is a generated by TeX itself from its own source code. See the preface to
the book for a more detailed expression.

Once again, if you’re a more experienced user, the TeX/LaTeX StackExchange site is an excellent resource, and the Tectonic forum is a great place to ask questions too.

## The Tectonic program

We have begun work on **The Tectonic Book**, which we hope will one day
serve as the definitive Tectonic manual and reference. It is currently quite
sparse. Requests for content are welcome, and contributions even more so!

In the meantime, the Tectonic forum is the place to go: there are discussions that document some aspects of how the Tectonic program works, and of course you can ask any questions that you might have.