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LATEX-L  November 1998

LATEX-L November 1998

Subject:

Re: What is "base" LaTeX

From:

Sebastian Rahtz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 10 Nov 1998 13:03:57 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (53 lines)

David Carlisle writes:
 >   Any mechanism which introduces extra packages into a central latex
 >   `minimal distribution' must _not_ generate any extra work at the latex
 >   support addresses (latex-l and latex-bugs).
 >
have you read Eric Raymond's "Cathedral and Bazaar" paper? your
starting point is the Cathedral system, of a tightly controlled core
run by mages; and, of course, given this, your conclusion is
undeniable. However, Raymond does articulate Another Way (basically,
The Linux Way) which could be applied to LaTeX. I hasten to stress that its
Your call, since You `own' LaTeX! no desire to put on pressure.

 > ... however if anyone really tries to fill in the
 > dots and make an explicit list, then value judgements will sometimes
 > have to be made between essentially similar packages. This is something
 > that ctan explicitly does _not_ do. Anything that involves making
no, CTAN does not, but others of us have been doing it for some
while. that is, those of us who actively maintain texmf trees in TeX
distributions. I think the value judgements, in this case, are pretty
easy. actually, i'd throw out some of the things that you have in
there at present....

 > an enlarged base latex distribution would require
 >
 > * an agreed mechanism for creating and maintaining such a distribution.
 >
devolve macros/latex/packages to a 3rd party, but say in your
documentation that this is considered a "recommended" level

 > * volunteers to actually do the work. (Beware: latex support takes more
 >   time than you think: I once thought it would only take up one weekend
 >   and a free trip to Hamburg).
dare we ask how many members of the LaTeX team are actually active? we
hear from you, Frank and Chris, but rather seldom from any others --
does this mean they don't like talking in public (the "James Clark
syndrome"), or are simply too busy or have moved on from LaTeX?

 > * agreement from the tex distributors that they would actually ship such
 >   an extended set. (Probably this is not so much of a problem now
 >   distributions have generally moved to CD from floppy disk, but
 >   I am sure most would not want to ship the whole of latex/contrib)

I cannot speak for the others, but i would very much welcome an agreed
"recommended" level of packages above the base level, so that one can
stop saying to people "oh, sorry, you have XXXtex, they dont ship
package ZZZ"

Sebastian

PS my personal world view is that LaTeX-as-a-whole has gone beyond
salvation. the constellation of packages large and small has beyond
control, and no committee or steering group can now recall the
diaspora.

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