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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
"Michael J. Downes" <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 1 Jul 1998 07:47:51 -0400
Hans Aberg's message of Tue, 30 Jun 1998 15:17:27 +0200
Resent-From: [log in to unmask] Originally-From: Michael John Downes <[log in to unmask]>
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]> writes:

>   But another common module separator would be :, but that is already
> occupied. One could change the argument spec separator to ., so that names
> soul look like \foo:bar.n or something.

Then TeX dimens of the form 0.1pt in the source code would not scan
correctly (the "." has to have catcode 12).

These issues were already hashed out at great length by the LaTeX team
a long time ago. Don't forget that TeX is not like other programming
languages---for example, TeX has no notion of quoted strings, so the
right quote character ' could also be a candidate character for use in
control sequence names, unlike C or Pascal identifiers (... the octal
number notation is used so seldom in practice that a function
\octal{321} would easily serve).

In my opinion, there has been so far too much discussion and not
enough substantial work with the published expl3 proposal. I do not
say it is flawless, but I do say it is a waste of time to rehash it
endlessly without any real work being done.  When someone can post to
CTAN a working package of nontrivial size using the current proposed
conventions, then I will be ready to listen to their opinions with

Michael Downes