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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Oct 1997 12:35:11 -0400
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since my name has been taken in vain ...

from robin:
    an \include-like system that allows you to
    include stuff at arbitrary positions on the page, which is what
    TUGboat actually needs.

from david:
    Why do you need an \include? or in particular why do you need an
    \includeonly ? Tugboat isn't so long is it?

from my point of view, this isn't the biggest problem.  david hit on
that later:

    1) making a `master class' that can pull a series of separate articles
       each from a separate file. Each of these `article files' should be a
       self contained document that may be processed independantly
       (although of necessity with a different class and perhaps a
       slightly different look to the output when processed independantly).


    You can more or less get (1) by just having the master class redefine
    \documentclass to do nothing, re-enable \usepackage for use by the
    articles, and just set up whatever typographic details are needed to
    handle the `front matter' of the individual articles when considered
    as sections in the larger work.

    There are problems when you start to consider packages used by the
    different articles clashing, and issues relating to avoiding namespace
    clashes with \label etc, but they are not insurmountable (probably:-).

that little matter of incompatible packages is a real beast.
for latex 2.09, ron whitney cobbled together a workable technique,
but it's much less obvious (at least to me) how this can be done
for latex2e.  if the only problems were the ability to disable
\documentclass, \begin and \end{document}, reinstate the front matter
macros, reinitialize counters, suppress the \clearpage, and that sort
of housekeeping, i would have been able to bludgeon something together.
but latex2e, although much easier to use in many other ways, is not
at all forgiving when trying to supersede package a by package b.

tugboat processing usually progresses by (re-)processing single
articles until all the errors are gone and necessary changes have
been made, then juggling multiple articles into a logical order
with reasonable paging.  (of course, all the floats change at this
point, so there can still be substantial reiteration.)

and there are still articles submitted in plain tex, which tugboat
is not going to refuse if the material is relevant and well written.
in fact, as some such articles propose non-latex solutions, it may
be impossible to process them at all using latex.  whenever possible,
we try to group articles not only by subject, but also by processing
method required.  in pre-latex days, it was often possible to run
the camera-ready copy of an issue as a unit.  no more.
                                                -- bb