> The question is only:
> What packages are necessary for author-author and author-publisher
> document exchange
I think this is a very good point.
> and UNLESS IT IS WELL DOCUMENTED, which, as
> far as the practical problems go, is problem number one
Documented, and agreed. If you (for example:-) were to volunteer to
draw up a list of `must have' packages, and wrap them all in some
consistent installation and documentation format, and document how this
is the minimum required latex installation for document interchange.
Then this will be a lot of work (thanks for volunteering!) but it will
only help the user who is trying to submit his article if you also
pursuade the publisher to accept such documents. For example last I
heard <well known publisher who shall remain nameless> were still
recommending their authors use latex 2.09, so getting (some) publishers
to move may take as much effort as producing the list in the first place.
Of course this is a chicken and egg situation. You can't really expect
that publishers accept such a list until it exists. (Although as I just
pointed out, essentially the tex live CDs provide such a list already).