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Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>
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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 16 Nov 1999 22:29:30 +0100
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Marcin and all,

 > I've just read all the templates related mail from the last month, and
 > I'd like to make some comments.  Sorry for being so late.

no need. it is moving and thats good (hope i find some time to finish more of
it soon)

 > As for the ``sequence of footnotes'' issue:
 > -------------------------------------------
 > If you seriously think of supporting sequences of footnotes (which I
 > btw find a very annoying habit) you should provide a template type for

i agree that it is not really my style at all either but it is an accepted
aproach and as such providing for it seems a good idea, or not?

 > a sequence of note marks and not for a single mark.  If sequences are
 > allowed, single footnote mark is not a self-contained entity.
 > Consider e.g. a template that puts a frame around the footnote
 > mark(s).  Now to put the frame around 1,2 you have to have it in hand
 > as a whole.

i don't really want to dispute this. but are there seriously layouts that
treat this as units? perhaps there are and perhaps it is the wrong question
anyway since if one provides this functionality one should probably provide it
all way through.

so assuming we intend to provide it all way through what would be a sensible
template type for it? the main problem i see right now is that the tempate
types as currently defined do only work with a fixed set of arguments. this
would allow for three courses to take:

 - say that this is not flexible enough and there is the need to allow
   (somehow) for a varying number of arguments to templates --- the course i
   don't like much for obvious reasons :-)

 - consider (on the LaTeX level) a syntax like
     \begin{footnotegroup} \footnote{..}\footnote{..} ... \end{footnotegroup}
   and map the footnotegroup env somehow into an environment template which
   somehow modifies the behaviour of the inner \footnote's

 - consider to provide for structured arguments to templates, eg
   (comma-separated lists) or something like that. --- the latter may in fact
   be necessary in other circumstances anyway (supporting \cite comes to
   mind). how this is actually then mapped to syntax is a different matter and
   i must confess i have no immediate idea that seems appealing.

any thoughts?

 > Section heads
 > -------------
 > The template type seems all right (at least I agree with all you've
 > said), but I think the document syntax is still a problem.

agreed too

 > According to my experience the need for short version of the title for
 > running head is common.  On the other hand I have never typeset any
 > document with titles in the toc different than in the text.  With the

i have (a lot) not necessarily actually different text but for example with
fine tuning of a publication you often have to provide line breaking
information to the various incarnations of the title.

oups: but this is bloody visual formatting and shouldn't be done anyway,
should it? :-) but the fact remains that most of those optional arguments are
precisely for such reasons there and not (only) to support some abstract
document model better

 > syntax you proposed, to specify short text for the running head only
 > one has to repeat the long title as toc text (or use hacks with
 > \NoValue).  If two optional parameters were exchanged I would be
 > perfectly happy.

your idea sounds perfectly correct for the major applications and i will use
it when i write up the heading template stuff.
and even if:

 > But then probably some application with thousands of
 > sections with alternative toc entries and no running head would
 > emerge. :-)

that would not really be a problem, would it? if it is a one off document then
the writer will have to do the extra work in adding all the optional arguments
containing the same text, but if it is a real major application then having
extra tags or your own variations is no problem. after all with xparse
reordering is not that difficult and could be done for large jobs even in the

 > Expansion
 > ---------
 > A very inspiring mail of M.J. Downes about avoiding expansion of
 > user-supplied text didn't seem to cause any response.  Since I always
 > felt that avoiding expansion is the right way to go, I'd like to ask
 > what is the opinion of The LaTeX Team in that matter.  This would be

his post is in some sense the result of some internal Team disucssion
(though developed by Michael to keep the record of originally straight)

 > too much of a change for LaTeX 2e, but in the LaTeX 3 context the idea
 > seems perfectly feasible.

yes and i would be very glad if his ideas would be taken further and really
tested (even in the 2e context) by first providing a package and somebody
really trying to test it against a large number of documents and see how far
we get.

right now i don't want to concentrate personally on any of these more
technically issues but rather on getting finally a design interface to LaTeX
the way i always hoped it would possible, but i do consider the protection
issue an important one and, yes it would be nice if his post would interest
some people to get interested enough to work on this further with him (and by
the way, he is one of THEM as well:-)

 > ----------
 > Shouldn't \DelayedEvaluation be rather named \DelayEvaluation or

shouldn't it? i thought it was named \DelayEvaluation when we put it out;
must gave got another "ed" traveling to your country :-)

 > \EvalOnUse (I mean in a more procedural spirit)?

sounds to me like a better name, thanks. will think about it.

good night