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LATEX-L  June 1997

LATEX-L June 1997

Subject:

Re: use of e-tex

From:

Uwe Muench <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 16 Jun 1997 18:18:56 +0200

Content-Type:

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text/plain (101 lines)

Hallo!

 >  > >> Is it widely used?
 >  >
 >  > Pass!  There was an amazingly high hit rate on the web reference site
 >  > when V1.1 was first announced,  but as we have received no bug reports
 >  > since then we cannot be sure whether e-TeX is bug-free or unused!
 >
 > i fear the answer is "mainly unused" and the reason is simply that
 > that for most people there is no use for it (right now) as they are
 > not programmers but users.

I think, there are not many users right *now*. *But* there is the
TeX-Live-CD version2, on which will be an e-TeX (or the announcement
is a lie...) and the new version of teTeX (0.9) will have an
e-TeX. There are quite a large number of people following *and*
updating with this distribution.

So I expect the number of people actually having e-TeX will be
significantly rising in the *near future*.

We can't help people only using LaTeX209 nowadays, so I don't care if
they would or will switch...

[support of e-TeX by L2e-team]
 > depends on what is the meaning of "support" here.
 >
 > if it means can one use LaTeX with e-tex and use any of the features
 > then surely one can. if it means does LaTeX use any features of e-tex
 > then surely no.

But then, why did *you* (the L2e-team) ask for 256 \mark-register, not
only 16?

 > it is very simple, if we would use any feature right now then 99.9% of
 > all LaTeX users would suddenly find that they can't use LaTeX any more
 > and would be forced to upgrade.

So, yes: LaTeX must be compatible with 'normal TeX' for some
time. Sure...

 > but they would not upgrade as there is no compelling reason for them
 > to do so as we can't produce any functionality right now that would be
 > considered by the majority of users a good reason to switch to the new
 > system. what we can do is produce better and simpler code as some
 > things do work much nicer with e-tex functionality but this is nothing
 > a user cares if the result is the same (or mostly the same on his/her
 > level).

Oh, I don't know, if I should agree here. There are some users, who
would be happy about more stability and less bugs in L2e. It may be a
small number, but there *are* users who complain to me that one bug in
the L2e database is suspended and not fixed. I don't see that this bug
could be easily fixed and since there is a workaround, I told them: Be
happy with that, the L2e-team has more important stuff to do and
besides, you haven't paid for it, so don't complain about unfixed
bugs...

 > so it doesn't make sense for us to switch 2e onto e-tex and if our
 > core is on tex then we can't do development that could be released as
 > packages using e-tex either. if we would do this then we would work
 > for nearly nobody and for a long time none of our developments would
 > be tested or used.

That's silly: 'We don't waste our times for e-TeX-L2e-packages. So
there *is* no reason to switch. So noone switches. So we don't waste
our times for e-TeX-L2e-packages.'

Sure, there must be two L2e-codes: the compatibility-code and the more
stable e-TeX-code for features available in both versions... And there
can be packages only working with e-TeX, because it is too difficult
(or impossible) in normal TeX (this mainly for future versions of
e-TeX).

 > in my opinion a combination of etex and omega (and pdf support)
 > however could be the answer at least it seems to me a very good case.

Ok, I will tell you the problem with Omega: Mr. Plaice told it: He
doesn't care for compatibility with TeX (at least, he didn't at
EuroTeX 95). So, that's a reason, why I never would *switch* to
Omega. But I will *switch* to e-TeX as soon as the TeX-Live-CD arrives
here (will be next week).

 > Phil has asked what features i miss that omega has. i'm not sure that
 > this was a serious question (you should know what your competing
 > successor is capable of, shouldn't you? :-) but in any case here are

Successor? For a programm, which does not care for compatibility???

Ok, I'm not a member of the NTS group, but I think, some ideas
(especially about compatibility) got confused...

Bye,
        Uwe M"unch

--
Uwe M\"unch, TeX administrator, University of Cologne
http://www.uni-koeln.de/themen/texmf/           WWW-Seite zu TeX
http://www.ph-cip.uni-koeln.de/~muench/         private WWW-Seite
 "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public
 relations, for nature cannot be fooled." - Richard Feynman

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