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Javier Bezos <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 29 May 1998 19:32:51 +0100
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Richard Walker (>>) and David Carlisle (>) wrote:

>> Some features are long overdue:  the naming system (if only it were
>> more consistently applied) and the different types of arguments (n, o,
>> x, etc.).
>If you spot any particular inconsitencies we'd be interested. The
>details of the naming scheme change from time to time so inconsistencies
>may relate to older conventions that we ought to update, or it may be
>that you are viewing some concept in a different way.

A had a quick look at l3.

For many years the LaTeX Team has been encouraging LaTeX-like syntax in
packages; now, the proposed syntax is quite different from anything known.
I've found most of tools very useful, but I think their command names are
a bit clumsy. Why not a combination of the old and the new, say:


or similar?

In addition, there is a potential danger. If LaTeX is so dramatically
rewritten, *will* existing packages work? The programming experience
in the past years could be lost in part (and the packages themselves)
and LaTeX3 functionality could be lesser than LaTeX2e one, at least for
a transition period. How long will be this period?  While
uncompatibility is acceptable to some extent, perhaps l3 is *too*
innovatory. (Remember Jobs has partially rejected Rhapsody because of a
similar reason.)

>> But `fake' integers?  I like hacking TeX too, but I realize
>> its limitations.  There seems to have been a considerable amount of
>> effort put into overcoming limitations of TeX which are better
>> overcome by changing TeX - as has already been done.  If I need more
>> counters I will use Omega.
>The fake integer implementations predate etex and omega. Probably it is
>correct to say that a real L3 implementation would use an extended tex's
>features for that, but perhaps this implementation may still be useful to
>provide support for a standard tex.[...]

In my packages I always avoid internal registers as much as possible.
I even write things like
if there are no available temporal counters .
Fake integers is an useful addition which you may use or not; imposing
Omega and the like is not an alternative, since most of TeX users have not
even heard of them. TeX is the *standard* language, existing in every
system and we must improve it. (Actually, fint is a "changed TeX" but by
another procedure.)

>> In TeX, all macros must be unique across all input files for a job, to
>> avoid unintended conflicts.> To be true to L3PL, this means using the
>> <module> component on practically everything.  While I do not object
>> to this in principle, it is yet another burden for package writers.
>Some package writers (me, for instance)  already use some kind of module
>system to try to ensure uniqueness of internal names. eg all longtable
>internal command names begin \LT@... all tabularx ones begin \TX@...

Me too. The goal is uniqueness of names and the burden is fixing
uncompatibilities if this device is not used.