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Well . . . some people got out of the wrong side of bed yesterday.
(Stress from watching the World Cup? :-)

While you Europeans were sleeping, I have been doing an experiment
with my minimalist proposal'.

I picked a random' package from tools to see what it looks like under
L3PL.  I happened to pick xr.

I attach the files in full at the end of the message.

Here are some notes on xr2.dtx gained from the experience:

%<notpackage>\RequirePackage{l3io}

This line is effectively commented out'.
I tried \usepackage{xr2} (with the \RequirePackage) first.  As a
result I had to put \CodeStart...\CodeStop around the body' of the
package.  (The altered version of \RequirePackage doesn't take effect
quickly enough.) So I changed my test document to say
\usepackage{l3io,xr2} instead and commented out the \RequirePackage.

Oh, and don't do this (as I did):
\usepackage{l3io,graphicx,url,xr2}

Funny things' happen to graphicx and url (i.e. spaces get gobbled up)
if you do that . . . you must put l3io and xr2 last.

% ^^ACodeStart

This is now commented out.

\tex_catcode:D \/=11\tex_relax:D

I'm testing out the / _ : proposal' . . . internal macros will be
prefixed by \tools/xr/.  I haven't renamed the Team's L3PL names
(e.g. \ior_eof:NTF to \ior/eof:NTF) - that will take a little more
time!

\let:NwN\ior_close:N\tex_closein:D
\let:NwN\if_eof:w\tex_ifeof:D

See my previous two messages . . . .

\def_new:Npn\externaldocument{\@ifnextchar[\tools/xr/xr_main:w%
{\tools/xr/xr_main:w[]}}

I haven't tried to implement an import/export mechanism at this
stage, so I just use \def_new:Npn here.

\def_new:Npn\tools/xr/xr_main:w[#1]#2{{%

This was \XR@; for want of a better name I chose xr_main.

\def_new:Npn\tools/xr/loop:n#1{\ior_open:Nn\@inputcheck{#1}\scan_stop:

A gotcha:  you now need the braces around #1.

\ior_eof:NTF\@inputcheck{
\PackageWarning{xr2}{^^JNo~file~#1^^JLABELS~NOT~IMPORTED.^^J}%
\tools/xr/aux:
}{
\PackageInfo{xr2}{IMPORTING~LABELS~FROM~#1}%

The use of \ior_eof:NTF avoids the need for a couple of \expandafters.

\exp_after:NN\tools/xr/test:nnnn\tools/xr/line...\\}

\def_long_new:Npn\tools/xr/test:nnnn#1#2#3#4\\{%

The \\ in both these lines was \[log in to unmask]  I wanted to change that to
\tools/xr/dummy or something like that, but this doesn't work because
\tools/xr/test:nnnn gets invoked when reading the .aux file, and at
that stage / has catcode 12 again.  (Using a _ wouldn't work either,
of course.)

This is much easier to read!

\tex_catcode:D \/=12\tex_relax:D

Undo my testing . . .

%^^ACodeStop

Also commented out.

So . . . what are my impressions?

First, highlighting in Emacs/AUC TeX/font-lock looks a bit funny; the
highlighting of macros stops at the first /, _, or :.
Easily fixed.

Second, I think you will get used to / in the macro names.
I can parse' names such as \tools/xr/exp_list: without much
trouble.  If I have any parsing problems at all it is with lines such
as:
\if_meaning:NN\tools/xr/list\@empty\else:
Somehow the NN stands out too much.

Third, this example isn't as interesting as it might be; I have only
used function names' (no parameter names').  And it's too small: the
(only) apparent payoff of L3PL in xr was the two uses of \ior_eof:NTF.

Clearly I have to try converting some of tools's larger packages.

OK, it's 17.20 AEST which means the Germans, Swedes, and Spaniards are
just sitting down at their computers and it's time for me to go home
. . . enjoy!

Richard.

Here's tools2.ins:
#### snip ########################################################
\input docstrip
\def\SimplePackage#1{%
\generate{\file{#1.sty}{\from{#1.dtx}{package}}}}
\keepsilent
\SimplePackage{xr2}
\endbatchfile
#### snip ########################################################

And xr2.dtx:
#### snip ########################################################
% \iffalse
%% File: xr.dtx Copyright (C) 1993-1994 David Carlisle
%
%<package>\NeedsTeXFormat{LaTeX2e}
%<package>\ProvidesPackage{xr2}
%<package>         [1998/07/02 v15.02 eXternal References (DPC,RJW)]
%<notpackage>\RequirePackage{l3io}
%
%<*driver>
\documentclass{ltxdoc}
\usepackage{xr2}
\GetFileInfo{xr2.sty}
\begin{document}
\title{The \textsf{xr2} package\thanks{This file
has version number \fileversion, last
revised \filedate.}}
\author{David Carlisle \\ L3PL experiments by Richard Walker\thanks{%
The Author of Versions 1--4 was Jean-Pierre Drucbert}\\
\date{\filedate}
\maketitle
\DocInput{xr2.dtx}
\end{document}
%</driver>
% \fi
%
% %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%
% \CheckSum{87}
%
% \changes{v5.00}{1993/07/07}
%         {First DPC version (by agreement with J-PD).  New mechanism
%
% \changes{v5.01}{1993/07/20}{Fix bug added by DPC, v5.00 did not import
%           aux files of \cmd\include'ed files. (Reported by J-PD)}
%
% \changes{v5.02}{1994/05/28}{Update for LaTeX2e}
% \changes{v15.02}{1998/07/02}{L3PL experiments}
%
%
% This package implements a system for eXternal References.
%
% If one document needs to refer to sections of another, say |aaa.tex|,
% then this package may be loaded in the main file, and the command\\
% |\externaldocument{aaa}|\\
%  given in the preamble.
%
% Then you may use |\ref| and |\pageref| to refer to anything which has
% been given a |\label| in either |aaa.tex| or the main document.
% You may declare any number of such external documents.
%
% If any of the external documents, or the main document, use the same
% |\label| then an error will occur as the label will be multiply
% defined. To overcome this problem |\externaldocument| has an optional
% argument. If you declare |\externaldocument[A-]{aaa}| Then all
% references from |aaa| are prefixed by |A-|. So for instance, if a
% section of |aaa| had |\label{intro}|, then this could be referenced
% with |\ref{A-intro}|. The prefix need not be |A-|, it can be any
% string chosen to ensure that all the labels imported from external
% files are unique. Note however that if your style declares certain
% active characters (|:| in French, |"| in German) then these
% characters can not usually be used in |\label|, and similarly may not
% be used in the optional argument to |\externaldocument|.
%
% \StopEventually{}
%
% \section{The macros}
%
%    \begin{macrocode}
%<*package>
% ^^ACodeStart
\tex_catcode:D \/=11\tex_relax:D
\let:NwN\ior_close:N\tex_closein:D
\let:NwN\if_eof:w\tex_ifeof:D
%    \end{macrocode}
%
% Check for the optional argument.
%    \begin{macrocode}
\def_new:Npn\externaldocument{\@ifnextchar[\tools/xr/xr_main:w%
{\tools/xr/xr_main:w[]}}
%    \end{macrocode}
%
% Save the optional prefix. Start processing the first |aux| file.
%    \begin{macrocode}
\def_new:Npn\tools/xr/xr_main:w[#1]#2{{%
\makeatletter
\def:Npn\tools/xr/prefix:{#1}%
\tools/xr/next:w#2.aux\scan_stop:\\}}
%    \end{macrocode}
%
% Process the next |aux| file in the list and remove it from the head of
% the list of files to process.
%    \begin{macrocode}
\def_new:Npn\tools/xr/next:w#1\scan_stop:#2\\{%
\def:Npx\tools/xr/list{#2}%
\tools/xr/loop:n{#1}}
%    \end{macrocode}
%
% Check whether the list of |aux| files is empty.
%    \begin{macrocode}
\def_new:Npn\tools/xr/aux:{%
\if_meaning:NN\tools/xr/list\@empty\else:
\exp_after:NN\tools/xr/exp_list:\fi:}
%    \end{macrocode}
%

% Expand the list of aux files, and call |\tools/xr/next| to process the first
% one.
%    \begin{macrocode}
\def_new:Npn\tools/xr/exp_list:{\exp_after:NN\tools/xr/next:w\tools/xr/list\\}
%    \end{macrocode}
%
% If the |aux| file exists, loop through line by line, looking for
% |\newlabel| and |\@input|. Otherwise process the next file in the
% list.
%    \begin{macrocode}
\def_new:Npn\tools/xr/loop:n#1{\ior_open:Nn\@inputcheck{#1}\scan_stop:
\ior_eof:NTF\@inputcheck{
\PackageWarning{xr2}{^^JNo~file~#1^^JLABELS~NOT~IMPORTED.^^J}%
\tools/xr/aux:
}{
\PackageInfo{xr2}{IMPORTING~LABELS~FROM~#1}%
%    \end{macrocode}
%
% Read the next line of the aux file.
%    \begin{macrocode}
\ior_to:NN\@inputcheck\tools/xr/line
%    \end{macrocode}
% The |...| make sure that |\tools/xr/test:nnnn| always has sufficient
% arguments.
%    \begin{macrocode}
\exp_after:NN\tools/xr/test:nnnn\tools/xr/line...\\}
%    \end{macrocode}
%
% Look at the first token of the line.
% If it is |\newlabel|, do the |\newlabel|. If it is |\@input|, add the
% filename to the list of files to process. Otherwise ignore.
% Go around the loop if not at end of file. Finally process the next
% file in the list.
%    \begin{macrocode}
\def_long_new:Npn\tools/xr/test:nnnn#1#2#3#4\\{%
\if_meaning:NN#1\newlabel
\newlabel{\tools/xr/prefix:#2}{#3}%
\else:\if_meaning:NN#1\@input
\def:Npx\tools/xr/list{\tools/xr/list#2\scan_stop:}%
\fi:\fi:
`