[OS X TeX] Publicon today

Morten Høgholm morten.hoegholm at gmail.com
Sun Mar 12 11:59:14 EST 2006

On Sun, 12 Mar 2006 16:47:20 +0100, Bruno Voisin <bvoisin at mac.com> wrote:

> While I cannot offer any solution to your problem, I feel exactly the  
> same about LaTeX and wish that, at some point, the LaTeX maintainers or  
> community would, once and for good, decide what additional  
> functionalities should go inside LaTeX, investigate all the add-on  
> packages that offer these functionalities, select one (and only one) for  
> each functionality, ensure they all play nice together, standardize  
> their commands and approaches, incorporate them inside LaTeX itself, and  
> then merge all their documentations into a unique documentation for this  
> whole enhanced LaTeX system (or at least make it so that all the  
> documentation is in the same format).

That's what the memoir class tries to do for certain parts of it. Of  
course, there is little doubt that LaTeX3 will provide greater built-in  
functionality than 2e does but exactly how much is yet to be decided.

Do you have any ideas for a documentation format? Currently the source  
code bit is pretty standard but the user manuals are all different. We  
have a sort of uniform setup for all the LaTeX3 source code with syntax  
and all but it definitely needs work: I've heard some users want complete  

> Alas, I fear that will never happen, and feel pretty pessimistic about  
> the future of LaTeX. At one point I hoped LaTeX 3 would allow that to  
> happen, but now I feel pessimistic about LaTeX 3 as well. With the LaTeX  
> 3 project progressing so slowly (at least when viewed from outside), and  
> the pace the computing world progresses being so high (with Unicode,  
> HTML, MathML, XML, etc.), I wonder whether LaTeX 3 will be able to catch  
> up with this moving target.

How is that quote again: "The rumors of my death have been greatly  

The LaTeX3 project is active and we are producing code. Just check out the  
development section of our website. We have also had workshops recently  
and will have more soon discussing what is needed on the engine side of  
things. The fruits of one such meeting are also available on the website.

There are at least two reasons why LaTeX today isn't a all-in-one format.  
Firstly this would have been impossible to run on anything but the biggest  
computers until the later half of the nineties. Secondly that is a whole  
lot of maintenance to do in your spare time. Project members have lives  
too (at least that's what I've been told).

As to xml then we do actually have an unreleased model from waaaaay back  
on how to deal with end tags etc. I'm currently trying to wrap my mind  
around it. Unicode needs support from the engine to be done properly and  
that is planned for pdfeTeX 1.50.

I don't think LaTeX3 will be an all-in-one solution but I do think that  
the new coding style (here I also think of the naming conventions) and  
improved interfaces for many things will prevent many of the clashes  
between packages we see today.
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