> As far as I know writing \global\newcount is the same as \newcount,
> so I'll change this in the 2e code.
it looks like with \alloc@ having \global as part of its definition.
Yep, looks like it can be safely removed to me too.
However,I don't think that was always the case
Thanks to Ulrik V, we can check
ftp://tug.org/historic/macros/latex-saildart, which shows that \alloc@
has used \global since at least version 0.90, ca.1983, when it was named
\allocate ... (in lplain.tex).
(in plain.tex all these definitions are local for example)
plain.tex has the same \global at the beginning of \alloc@, and in fact
the same definition, modulo the token-removal optimizations in ltplain.
That's also been the case forever as far as I can determine.