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J%org Knappen Mainz writes:

> Here is one point not mentioned explicitly yet:
>
> Depending on language and typesetting tradition, one wants to configure the
> following two things easily:
>
> a) The bullets of the itemize environment (afaik, french.sty already does
>    this)
>
> b) The counterstyles in the enumerate environment
>
> The current interface to those is clumsy, at least.

both points are probably well taken. In fact there is one TeX format
(LamsTeX) that goes an awful long way to provide the user with
something like cardinal and ordinal number, eg where you can say
\cardinal{17} to get the string seventeen and \ordinal{7} to get
seventh, \ordinal{101} to get 101st and \ordinal{102} to get 102nd.
--- you might not want to know how complicated the coding is.

Now clearly this is another border case and i think nearly nobody
would bother to actually type \ordinal{7} in the middle of the text
normally. However one can see applications, eg referencing list items
using special forms of \ref, the items themselves, etc. I have seen
requests for such functionality

I'm not arguring that something like this should be provided by
default as an addition to things like \alph \roman etc but it is
certainly something that might be considered as an optional package
and if so it would be very much language dependent.

frank