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 Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Modules From: Volkan Yavuz <[log in to unmask]> Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 21:00:17 +0200 Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]> Parts/Attachments: text/plain (125 lines) These are my thoughts regarding modules and a hierarchical namespace. They are similar to what Hans has written, but slightly different. * Specifying the Local Scope A package author identifies not just the package name but also gives it's location within a hierarchy (modules, submodule). This hierarchy may also correspond to some extent to the directory structure on CTAN.... :-) It may be feasible to use a deeper module hierarchy than the current directory structure on CTAN to be able to categorize packages more exactly.         \ProvidesPackage{latex3/contrib/math} after this declaration, all macros that are \newcommand'ed within this package are auto-magically[1] prefixed with something like "latex3/contrib/math".         [1] This would save package authors a lot of typing and         automatically ensures that all macros have the correct         prefix. * Accessing Macros When the author of that particular package wants to access macros defined in some other package, he says         \RequirePackage{latex3/base/toc}         \RequirePackage{latex3/base/ifthen} or for document authors respectively         \usepackage{latex3/base/toc}         \usepackage{latex3/base/ifthen}    This could lead to the following: whenever a macro is requested, it is searched along some kind of search path, i.e. it is first looked up in "latex3/contrib/math", "latex3/base/toc" and finally "latex3/base/ifthen".[2] It could well be looked up in some standard system namespaces, too, or maybe it is not searched anywhere else.         [2] This would save document authors a lot of typing since         they needn't specify the fully qualified macro name. Because         of \usepackage, LaTeX knows where to look for the macros.    This only works as long as there is no name clash among the macros in "latex3/contrib/math" and the public[3] macros in "latex3/base/toc" and "latex3/base/ifthen". When a name is ambiguous, the macro has to be fully qualified, e.g. something like "\latex3/base/ifthen/newif".         [3] How about declaring macros public or private to some         module. When declared private, they are not looked up         automatically when not in the local scope. The local scope is         determined by "\ProvidesPackage{the/local/scope}". * Local Namespaces It may be very useful to locally specify some valid namespaces which are to be prepended to all unqualified macros. This could also be used to rearrange the order in which the namespace is traversed in search for a macro.         \begin{namespace}{latex3/contrib/tabularx,%            latex3/contrib/graphics}                 % use macros from tabularx and graphics                 % no need to fully qualify their names                 % first look in tabularx, then in graphics         \end{namespace} * Redefining Macro Names In case there are macros with identical names from different packages, it may be useful to allow redefinition of one of them to disambiguate their names, so there is no need to fully qualify their names. Say there is a macro "\phi" both in "latex3/contrib/math/phi" and in "latex3/contrib/phys/phi". Both \phis are somewhat different and needed throughout the document.         \rename{latex3/contrib/math/phi}{mphi}    After this, \phi from latex3/contrib/math is accessible "from outside" as \mphi. Of course, this could equally well be achieved by just writing a macro \mphi that expands to the fully qualified name of \phi. There was some other reason to providing this functionality which has just escaped my mind... * By specifying a local scope and using a search path, there should be no problem for both package and document authors dealing with the now somewhat long macro names as Richard has pointed out. I haven't considered the impact on TeX's memory and performance, though. The module name could also be used to distinguish officially released packages which are available from CTAN from locally written packages, which are either not meant to be published or are still in development. How about reserving the prefix "latex3" for packages which are released on CTAN and using something like "edu/st-anford/drofnats" for packages written by an individual at St-Anford? You see the obvious similarities to the way Java(tm) handles packages which belong to the standard distribution and which are developed elsewhere. Regarding the similarity of the module/submodule names and the directory structure on CTAN, how about making LaTeX Internet aware. Lets let it load packages on-demand from the nearest CTAN host... ;-) Kind regards, Volkan -- __volkan yavuz___________________________ mailto:[log in to unmask] http://webrum.uni-mannheim.de/ba/yavuzv/ __________"May the source be with you!"__