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"Daly Dr., Patrick" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 6 Jan 2003 09:53:13 +0100
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This is an informal bug report that I am sending to Robin Fairbairns.
I cc it to the LaTeX-L list because although it is fairly minor, it does
involves certain fundamental issues such as backward compatibility and who
maintains older packages.

Dear Robin,

In making preparations for the 4th edition of A Guide to LaTeX, I looked into
the parskip.sty package from the TeXLive 7 CD, really just to check its date.
There I noticed that you have updated it, adding an option parfill, and
fixing up the double spaced table of contents. I always had my own way of
getting around that, when I wanted to get around it.

Shortly after, I was working on a 500 page document (out Institute Yearbook),
made some minor corrections, and then noticed that the entire document was 2
pages shorter than it was before. Horrified, I discovered it was the table of
contents that was now shorter, single instead of double spaced. It then
clicked that parskip.sty had been altered, and I was processing the document
now on my laptop, the only computer around with the revised parskip.

Had I not coincidentally seen the change in parskip shortly before this, I
would have been extremely puzzled. (I guess I would have discovered the cause
fairly quickly.) But this should not happen. Your change to parskip is
welcomed, but it should not be so that older documents are processed
differently than before. I would call the double-spaced table of contents a
feature, not a bug. It is not necessarily a bad thing, although one may not
want it all the time. And many people may have got used to it, and even
expect it.

I would prefer to see your fix-up as an option, say notoc, so that the
default behaviour is the double-spaced listings, as it has been for the last
13 years. Then one must actively select single-spacing with this option,
avoiding unexpected surprises.

I am not sure who is now maintaining parskip.sty officially, but since you
made the last change, I guess it is your court now.

Regards, Patrick

   Dr. Patrick W. Daly                    Tel. [+49] 5556-979-279
   Max-Planck-Institut fuer Aeronomie     Fax. [+49] 5556-979-240
   Max-Planck-Str. 2                      Mob. [+49] 175-162-1811
   D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau              Email: [log in to unmask]