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```I am very much in favour of standardizing the LaTeX support for journals,
having supplied two such macro packages, one as an add-on to improve an
existing (2.09) mess that calls itself the official macro package for the major
journal in my field, and the other for which I was commissioned to produce the
official package. Of course the latter was much more enjoyable because I had a
free hand.

The problem of non-standardization is enormous, but more the fault of the
article.sty/cls that did not provide enough models for the necessary input
commands. Perhaps one should take AMS-LaTeX as a model since the AMS has always
been a keen supporter TeX/LaTeX and can be considered to have sufficient
practical experience with author-supplied copy in LaTeX(2e).

>  > Fortunately, this problem can ALREADY be solved by the use of Patrick
>  > Daly's natbib.sty and custom-bib package.  Since this is IDEALLY suited
>  > to the problem of variation in citations and references, it should
>  > actually be REQUIRED by all journals and publishers who use LaTeX at
>  > all.
> hear, hear. natbib/custom-bib are awesome contributions to the LaTeX
> world

These are beautiful words to hear! They make the whole gigantic effort,
especially for custom-bib, well worthwhile. (I am a native English speaker, so
I have no problems with "awesome"; it is not the same as "awful" at all!)

The journal packages that I supply contain natbib coding (rather a subset of
it)  included in the .cls files themselves. This may sound perverse, but as the
author of natbib, I can take this liberty. It meant that I did not have to
distribute natbib explicitly with the journal packages, and it also meant that
much of the extra, unneeded features (the dancing girls) could be left out. I
originally wrote natbib to be used as a module that could be included (via
docstrip) in other packages; the module later evolved into an independent
package. To generalize this so that other programmers can do the same would
likely require some minor reworking of the code.

One point of non-standard interfacing that all journal packages must solve
somehow is the entry of the authors' names and affiliation. The standard LaTeX
syntax
\author{First Author\\Affiliation One
\and
Second Author and Third Author\\Affiliation Two}
is inadequate for long author lists where the authors are not ordered by
affiliation. In this case, footnotes are usually used to associate author and
affiliation, with repeating footnote markers. There is no way to provide this
in standard LaTeX, so most journals must reinvent some syntax independently.
I myself have a package (not make public) that also can be used as a module,
that allows both the above syntax as well as
\author{First Author}
\affil{Affiliation One}
\author{Second Author}
\author{Third Author}
\affil{Affiliation Two}
Depending on the number of affiliations, you either get the standard block-type
author-affil listing, or the footnote style. By adding optional markers, you
force the footnote method, as
\author[1]{First Author}
\author[2]{Second Author}
\author[1,*]{Third Author}
\affil[1]{Affiliation One}
\affil[2]{Affiliation Two}
\affil[*]{On leave from Affiliation Two}

I think this is a flexible input syntax. What is really printed depends on the
programmer, of course.

I agree with Sebastian that PostScript is an interim solution. I have not yet
worked with PDF but from what I hear of it, it is the better way of the
future. I am currently working as production editor on an 18 chapter book, of
500 pages, with dozens of PostScript figures. I assure you, the printing of
these figures, sent to me by various contributers from multitudes of software,
are often a real headache. As PostScript figures are used more and more, it is
becoming clear how much trouble they can cause. Usually because the generating
application abuses PostScript terribly.

Summing up, I am willing to participate in this standardization project.

Patrick
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Patrick W. Daly                    Tel. [+49] 5556-979-279
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Aeronomie     Fax. [+49] 5556-979-240
Max-Planck-Str. 2