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David Kastrup <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 4 Jan 2003 13:57:55 +0100
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Since quite a few programming feats and list juggling exercises (like
\savingdiscards) require the use of eTeX, and since running out of
registers and the like is a rather frequent occurence, I would
propose that the LaTeX project make the following change to policy
starting with the next release:

The format/executable combination that distribution vendors are to use
for the executables named `latex' and `pdflatex' is to be eTeX,
respectively PDFeTeX.  For those that want to test out compatibility
with older versions, the names olatex and pdfolatex will be available,
but it is strongly urged that distributions will usually not generate
those formats by default since they will just be dead weight.

elatex and pdfelatex should usually just be links or other appropriate
aliases to latex and pdflatex.

The naming of the TeX executables themselves (virtex, initex) is not
the business of the LaTeX project.  Neither is that of the plain TeX
executables.  While consistency would probably make it convenient if
this scheme was also followed in that areas, this might provide
confusion for those wanting to work from the TeXbook, and I am not
entirely clear about how Knuth's wishes would apply to the naming of
the _executables_ (as opposed to the banners and documentation).

But this fuzziness does not concern the name of the "latex"
executable, and thus I would urge the LaTeX project to start
deprecating the use of a TeX version that has shown itself to come
short for the typesetting problems centering around LaTeX.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum