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Javier Múgica de Rivera <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 2 Jul 2006 16:07:03 +0200
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As I had used (for one and a half year) and appreciate both TeX and 
LaTeX, and I
have learned it to the point of being a TeXpert (not measured by the
average of this list, but for the outside world), and some other reasons
that now don't matter, I wanted to cooperate in the development of
LaTeX3, and I realized that it was really different form the LaTeX I
knew, and so I planed to slowly learn the current state of LaTeX3. I
found at the project page something that seemed what I was precisely
looking for:
>>For those less experienced with version control systems, getting the 
 >>packages might be easier, at the price of having to settle for
 >>somewhat older code.

And I was not interested in the absolutely latest code, and so I
downloaded that set of packages. I started reading (and understanding
the code) the documentation dvi's generated from the .dtx, but I have
few time (as all of us, I suspect. Is there anybody on the earth
interested in these things and that has enough time to dedicate to it?)
and I didn't go beyond xbase. I found that there were missing some
essential things, such as an explanation of the command sintax and all
the abreviations (tlp, ...). I also missed and explanation on how to
experiment with that code. ┐Should it be put on top of Latex2E? And if
so, how? (ie. usepackage{},...)? Is it on the contrary meant to be used
independent from the current LaTeX kernel? If so, how do I generate the
formats?, ...

After having read the one about templates, and some messages form this
list (though old ones, I plan to read the messages from the last years
to get an idea of the current state of the conceptual matters) I wanted
to make some remarks on templates. But before that, and since I hadn't
got to the latest years in reading messages, I wanted to first look at the
latest code not to make useless remarks. I went to the other link,
dowloaded the whole directory and, what I found?:
A wonderfull readme file, with precise explanations on what to do with
it. I easily generated the formats, so that now I can experiment with
code, and equally easily I genarate a one piece pdf with all the
documentation, starting with the explanation of the conventions. It is a
relief the fact that I didn't go further braking my head (does this
expression exist in english or is just a litteral translation form
Spanish?) trying to understand the packages from the archive.

As it can be read in you get the
idea that if you are arriving for first time at LaTeX3 stuff and you are
quite lost, you should go to the archive, while it is not. Whether you
are interested or not in the latest code, (even if you don't know what a
CVS is, as was my case), the CVS repository, with its readme and .ins
files, is much usefull. Posibly the archive with its 2001 packages (is
it abandoned?) should be removed, or if there is some reason not to do
it, the explanation at should
clearly direct new people interested in LaTeX3 to the CVS directory, or
include the readme and .ins in the archive.

I hope I haven't bothered you.

A minor remark: there is an extra " in line 342 of l3basics.dtx.
Where do I direct in the future such minor remarks about the files? I
guess this list is not the place to.