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Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>
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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 1 Sep 2009 23:40:34 +0200
text/plain (59 lines)
by the way, the idea brought forward by Will of taking the defaults out could
also be provided in any of the proposed implementation: a template could
define defaults but one could envision to additionally at a later stage
overwrite and replace those defaults. This is fairly independed concept to the
rest of the syntax discussion so should probably also discussed

The problem with default settings at different stages is to come
up with a model that describes how they should apply.

Currently key defaults get used and thus become "real" values the moment a
template is instantiated, i.e., if we have

        above-skip         =L           [0pt] \caption_above_skip ,

then doing


is equivalent to  

  \DeclareInstance{caption}{figure-caption-ii}{lesssimple}{ above-skip=0pt }

and there would be no way to distinguish them later on other than by the fact
that I gave them two different names above). I'm not saying that this has to
be the case, only that this what current template and i guess template-alt

consequentially, if we have a way to alter the default of a template, eg

                       {        above-skip         = 4pt }

that would have no effect on the "figure-caption" if it comes after that
instance got declared. thus changing such defaults say in a document preamble
would be a fairly useless exercise.

of course things could be done differently: a instance could somehow record
that  a default is to be used and then finalize it only at begin document or
always instantiate it when the instance is used or ... but any of these
schemes seem to me would only lead to chaos. After all  then it is absolutly
not clare when something would be affected and when not (eg figure-caption-ii
shouldthen not be affected as in that instance the default has been explicitly
overwritten by a value evne though it was the same as the default).

for that reason I think the current scheme for defaults is about right. if so,
then being able to alter the default of a template would still have its place
and I think it would be a valid addition to a future implementation, but it
would only be used on layer 1 when setting up document classes, ie prior to
definining instances and there it would help to better structure the
design. For example, by setting the defaults for fonts just once all near to
each other, rather than repeating them over and over again when specifying the

But it would not be usable or intended to make changes to a design in a
document preamble.