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Joerg Knappen writes:
> It is almost trivial to implement \quote{this}, but do you really expect that it
> will be used by the authors, typing a LaTeX script?
>
> Compare: "this"
>          this''
>          \quote{this}
>
> in length, sophistication, and error checking.
>
> IMO, the Knuthian commands are just right -- not too long and not shortened
> into cryptical acronyms.

except that he misuses the ligature mechanism to implement his
"commands" (or was it commands'' :-) with all the pitfalls we know

> LaTeX2e is already on the way to go overboard on
> command length, I am not very fond of all the commands prefixed by \text...

that is a problem which i also see, but it originates in the usage of
TeX for things it was not meant for (ie typesetting anything other
than English) and not having appropriate interfaces for it. so the
\text... is a logical step to avoid absolute chaos while still being
able to extend the capabilities (within the framework forced on you)

> Too long commands encourage the authors to come up with their own, incompatible

and too short commands result in users documents suddenly no longer
working as they have already been defined by the user.

the \text... commands have been introduced mainly as internal commands
not primarily to be used by the end user but to provide a unique
representation if going from an input representation (inputenc) via
internal commands (\text...) to some output representation (fontenc)

on the whole i think this is something which does work fairly well in
the current LaTeX.

frank