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Marcel Oliver <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 13 Feb 2001 18:21:33 +0100
text/plain (56 lines)
David, some question for clarification:

David Carlisle writes:
 > If latex switched to use omega (only) then
 > a) this might require omega to be more stable than omega users would
 > wish, ie it might prematurely limit addition of new features.

- Is the envisioned time frame for Omega to stabilize really longer than
  a realistic time frame for LaTeX3 to be completed?

 > b) it would cut out people using tex systems that don't include omega.
 > You might say they should all switch to web2c tex, but that's like
 > saying that everyone should use emacs on linux. Clearly it's true, but
 > it doesn't happen that way.

- What are the platforms that can compile TeX but cannot compile

 > c) special case of (b) it would (at present, I think) cut out pdflatex.

- How much of an advantage is pdftex compared to creating pdf via DVI?
  I have only done the latter without any problems, but of course it
  involves more file format conversions.

 > d) It would require reasonably major surgery to LaTeX internals. It

Now it's getting interesting...

- Is it basically clear to the LaTeX experts what needs to be done, or
  will major conceptual work be necessary?

- How do such changes compare with what is being done anyway for

- Will things get harder or easier with Omega?

 > would be possible to make documents and packages using "documented
 > interfaces" still work with a new internal character handling, but
 > ctan will reveal a lot of heavily used packages that for good (or bad)
 > reasons don't use documented interfaces, but just redefine arbitrary
 > macros. (Often because there isn't a documented interface).
 > A lot of these would break.

Again, it may be good to assess the extent of potential damage.  The
switch to 2e has broken lots of stuff, but in the long run it was the
right thing to do.  So one should make a strong case why it should be
otherwise now.  (And maybe some packages actually deserve to die...)

 > So in short to medium term it seems there have to be two versions
 > latex/omega and latex/tex. How compatible they can be as latex/omega
 > uses more omega features I am not sure.

This is a situation we should REALLY avoid!