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Sebastian Rahtz <[log in to unmask]>
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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 4 Jul 1997 13:54:04 +0100
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 > written for plain TeX (acctually CONTeXT), but supports LaTeX (i.e. sty
 > files, ifx when loading PiCTeX and using the \f@size [latex2e] and
 > \@point [latex209]). This package would be latex4.
CONTeXT is a rather special case, as its effectively a rewrite of
the ideas of LaTeX with some modules that can be used with LaTeX.
i wouldn't classify it here at all, excellent tho it is. its
"context1" on its own

 > 'not must have' and 'must have' depends also from the point of view:
 > if I don't need e.g. chemical formulars, than these packages are not a
 > `non must have'(latex3-4). For chemists those are real 'must haves'
 > (latex1).

in my book, one or two good chemical packages will be in 2b; one can
argue about which ones, but do you want us to keep chemstruct there
for ever?

the LaTeX Companion effectively classified packages in the way we are
describing, by including a set of `known good and useful' material. it
descended from the CERN local guide. we all do, why pretend otherwise?
any of us who maintains a TeX setup for others keeps a set of packages
available, and recommends them to people. when people come to me and
say `how do i do Harvard references', i don't say `well here are 6
packages which have worked once, try for yourself', i say `use
natbib'. i am sure most of us say to people, `use the graphics package,
stop using epsf.sty/boxedart/psfig/psbox etc etc', dont we?? of
course, in some cases we say `you choose between ppchtex and xymtex,
it depends on your needs and working methods', but often not.

Bias? Aggressive to package writers? Sure. When I recommend a novel to
you, I say `I think Antonia Byatt is a very good writer, I think you
should read Possesssion', i don't say `i have 500 novels in my house,
pick one, any one, i won't advise you'. Some friends who know more
than me read the reviews, go to the bookshop etc, others are pleased
to have a recommendation. Antonia Byatt won the Booker Prize for
Possession, that makes it a `book1' package, does that mean we
shouldnt give prizes?

sebastian `fascist' rahtz