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Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
From: Paul Thompson <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 15:04:46 -0700
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Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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I will drop in a note at this time as well.

I really appreciated Frank's clear discussion of the levels of language from the other day.  It clarified much of my confusion in reading many of these posts.

I have contributed a class file (newlfm) and several styles that no one uses to LaTeX. So, I have worked with the language a fair bit.

I am hoping that the new implementation of the LaTeX system can do several things.  These are specifically:

1) tools for character manipulation (index - find a substring in a string; scan - get substring from string; and so forth).  It has always seemed the height of irony that a system dedicated to working with text cannot manipulate text in any convenient manner

2) some better looping or array mechanism

3) some better storage mechanism, so that a rudimentary database can be constructed.  I have done this in newlfm, but it should be a bit easier.

Really 2 & 3 are connected.  To work with arrays, you need loops.  To have arrays, you need storage control.

4) some better mid-document margin control, so that margins can change by user choice.  Several have told me that this is not possible, but I have hacked the output routine and am quite clear that it is.

These are limitations to the LaTeX/TeX armamentarium which should be rectified.  I hope that someone might think them useful.

Paul Thompson

Professor and Senior Scientist
Director, Methodology and Data Analysis Center
Sanford Research
900 W Delaware
Sioux Falls, SD    57104