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Robin Fairbairns <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 6 Jan 2003 10:16:51 +0000
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>         Martin Schroeder <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> > On 2003-01-04 13:57:55 +0100, David Kastrup wrote:
> > > 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
> >
> > I doubt that this will happen for LaTeX, as this is very frozen
> > now. LaTeX3 will run on Omega, and Omega will incorporate the
> > best of eTeX. :-)
> I am not talking about what will happen in 10 years of time.  I am
> talking about what is crippling LaTeX development right now.  In
> contrast to a change to Omega, a change to e-TeX will not disturb any
> existing styles and operation.  e-TeX is stable and has been available
> for years.  Omega isn't stable, isn't documented properly and still
> in constant flux.

i'm inclined to agree with you, to an extent.  (nb, speaking in a
personal capacity, not hoping to represent project policy.)

the problem is that there are two separate axes on which latex
development is being hampered for want of extensions.  the one you've
not mentioned is multilingual-latex development: there's a lot of work
going on in that area at present, and it's not clear that any
significant step beyond today's babel is possible without omega-like

you will have seen the "latex requirements" document, that appears in
one of the omega development white papers: a significant part of that
involves merging the relevant parts of e-tex extensions.  a stable
omega that provides those extensions would obviously be a "dream
platform"; given that it's unlikely to be available soon, the question
remains, "how should we proceed from here".

i suspect we must develop a two-pronged attack, taking every possible
precaution to ensure that when the dream platform _does_ appear, the
two versions can be merged.

i have severe misgivings about the actual practicality/efficacy of
such precautions.