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Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2011 15:03:35 +0100
Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: format?
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From: Arno Trautmann <[log in to unmask]>
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Joseph Wright wrote:
> On 06/03/2011 13:35, Arno Trautmann wrote:
>> I guess this question is raised from time to time – now I am asking ;)
>> As far as I understand, there is still no own LaTeX3 format because the
>> code just is not ready. But expl3 is more or less stable and some
>> important packages (e.g. fontspec) make heavy use of it causing many
>> people to load expl3 at the beginning of their document. As this is
>> somewhat time-consuming, Philipp Stephani suggested about a month ago on
>> the lualatex-dev list the introduction of a "LaTeX 2.2" format with
>> expl3 and xpackages (and fontspec) preloaded.
>> So what is the "official" meaning of the LaTeX3 team? Are there any
>> plans for a test format? Or is it not intended/possible/ ?
>> Such a format could be a very good test for stability and useability,
>> would show progress to the users and could be distributed via TLcontrib
>> so the normal user would not be confused by this, but the experienced
>> user could easily test and try LaTeX3.
> LaTeX3 as a 'native' format will not be LaTeX2e + packages, but will be
> rather different.

I hope so – that's the point of the whole LaTeX3 project ;)

> It is possible to build a native format without any
> LaTeX2e code loaded, but it's rather limited at present! Basically, with
> some hacks you can at least typeset something, but it's not really usable.
> On the other hand, it certainly is possible to build the LaTeX2e kernel
> with expl3, etc., built in. The question is 'why?'. At this stage, I
> don't see much gain over simply loading the package-mode material.

Well, first, it would show the development. I know several people who
have lost interest in following LaTeX3 development because there is no
visible progress. Also, it is unpleasant to tell someone about how great
LaTeX3 syntax is but having to tell they have to load a package on top
of l2ε.
Second, the loading of expl3 stuff would be much faster which would be
favorable especially for short tests – often the preamble takes much
longer to load than the actual compilation time of the document.

But this may be only my personal perception; if no one else is
interested, the effort isn't worth it. Also, I have no idea how much
time could be saved by loading format instead of packages.

Other oppinions on this?