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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
David Carlisle <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 23 Jun 1998 09:33:36 +0100
<[log in to unmask]> (message from Richard Walker on Tue, 23 Jun 1998 11:27:29 +1000)
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (36 lines)
> Developers use the long names to make it easier to write; these get
> translated by docstrip/doc.sty into short names to minimize format
> size and control sequence usage.
> Still no word from the Team as to whether this matters for LaTeX3.

Some of the team are on holiday, or preparing for June 1st, or...
However I am sure we are all saving these messages and will reply

Partly is probably good to let others comment first, and give initial
reactions (as you and Hans have been doing) rather than just getting the
`official line'.

However to comment on your point about format size that you've made a
couple of times. The long command names don't really affect format size too
much. Of course if you call a command \foo_bar_baz:nnn instead of \foo
then the format entry for that command is larger by 12 characters,
but that is the only difference in the format. No matter how many times
the command is used, the comand tokens are always the same size, just
having an index to the table that has the print name of the command

Note that this one important reason why the module names and argument
spec is part of the command _name_. If instead you had \foo_bar_baz{nnn}
(or any other such syntax) then you have switched from one token to 6
tokens every time you use the command, and your format is suddenly many
many times larger.

> making sure that implementors and package-writers keep to the `rules'
> (i.e. like always using \newcommand instead of \def).

Of course one way to do that is if the format has \let\def\@undefined
Experience with latex2 shows that may be the only way.