Apologies to those who get this message twice.
I am attaching below a draft of the preliminary brief announcement
that is to be circulated more widely sometime very soon. Please feel
free to comment on its clarity/usefulness, but remember that it is
supposed to be brief!
A fuller version will also be published as soon as possible,
containing, for example:
-- more about e-TeX and other executables that provide these
extensions (e-pdftex e-omega ...);
-- more on the reasons for the changes;
-- more `HOW-TO's;
-- more about _possible_ futures, timings etc.
From The LaTeX3 Team: maintainers of Standard LaTeX.
LaTeX and e-TeX
[Here, e-TeX means: e-TeX V 2 (but excluding the bi-directional TeX--XeT
extensions provided by the e-TeX software).]
-- There is a demand from current LaTeX2e package writers to use e-TeX
-- Although e-TeX does not provide a lot of new features that can be
directly used in documents, it does make a lot of LaTeX programming
more robust, both directly and by supporting better and more
efficient code production.
-- For existing TeX documents, there are no incompatibilities between
e-TeX and TeX.
We are therefore announcing the following plans, which will be
implemented during 2003:
-- Although we have decided not to rewrite the 2e kernel to take
advantage of features provided by e-TeX, we may provide packages
that make use of e-TeX when it is available.
-- We shall produce experimental packages that require the use of
e-TeX (not including the TeX--XeT extensions).
-- We wish to encourage package writers to use the features of e-TeX
wherever it is appropriate to do so.
We are therefore encouraging all TeX distributions (as soon as
possible and certainly by 2004):
-- to include an executable that provides the e-TeX features;
-- to use this executable when making and running the LaTeX format;
and/or to provide a configurable and straightforward way for a user
to make the change to using such an `e-TeX compliant' executable.