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Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
From: "Michel Lavaud Orleans (France)" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 1997 13:57:22 +0000
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Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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> Are you all familar with Graham Williams catalogue? in many ways, he
> has already laid the foundation for what we are talking about, with a
> BiBTeX database looking like this:
> @TeXIndex{akletter,
>   texlive       = {latex3},
>   ctan          = {macros/latex/contrib/supported/akletter/},
>   abstract      = {An advanced letter document class which extends \LaTeX{}'s
>                   usual letter class. Provides support for building your own
>                   letterhead; can mark fold points for window envelopes; and
>                   more. Documentation in German, but sample file is
>                   sufficient for a basic understanding.},
>   author        = {Axel Kielhorn},
>   email         = [log in to unmask],
>   modified      = {26 Mar 1997 09:55:33 [log in to unmask]
> }
> the `texlive' key (renamed) can be used for what we seem to agree is the useful
> scheme:
>    latex1:  a core tool provided by Them (eg graphics); distributions
>       without all of these are incomplete
>    latex2:  a generally agreed important tool package (eg calc)
>    latex3:  a generally agreed important application package (eg tipa)
>    latex4:  a package that works under the current LaTeX, has no known
>              bad behaviour, but is not a `must have' (eg nassflow)
>    latex5:  a package of unknown status, may or may not work, perhaps
>              whose author is not contactable any more

I think it is extremely useful to have the TeXIndex of Jones updated.
But I am not sure that the texlive key, with the contents described
above,  is a  good idea?

"Not a 'must have'" seems to me usselessly aggressive to the package
writer, at least if Graham's document is publicly released. Moreover,
if  somebody wants to do something and the "xyz" package
exactly does what he needs, what is the use for him to know that the
package has been classified by somebody as a "not a must have"?
And for those who are not interested in what "xyz" package does,
getting an opinion on it is useless too. So, why giving any opinion
at all ?

And cataloging a package as "generally agreed important application"
is not very serious, is it ? As it will reflect the opinion of, from
one individual (for many packages) to ten (say hundred for the
"bestof" package) individuals, out of hundreds of thousands of users
(somebody spoke about 20 billions).

I am not sure that users really need opinions. I think they need
much more an exhaustive catalog, as the original TeXIndex is,
updated and with improved abstracts and demo files. Once they have
it, they can decide by themselves if the package is useful for them
or not.

If people have free time to discuss about a package, and have an
opinion at the end, I suppose they will have written a set of test
files? Therefore,  I would propose that they release their test
files, without emitting any opinion,  instead of emitting an opinion
and no test files. And, about the texlive key, replace it by a
pointer to these test files ?
Michel Lavaud  ([log in to unmask])