> I think the discussion is drifting in the wrong direction. > As far as I as an individual user of LaTeX am concerned, things > are fine. If I need something, I can find it in teTeX, if it's > not there, I'll get it from CTAN. No problem. First, not everyone uses tetex or even unix. Second, `getting it from CTAN' is, for a normal `individual user', too much work. The typical user doesn't even know what CTAN is. Even if he does, is he familiar with getting stuff from it? As Joe User he can't install it system wide, so several people could have their own, perhaps inconsistent copies. Even if he knows the ropes and/or is the system manager, installing several packages just to format one document might be too much. > What packages are necessary for author-author and author-publisher > document exchange (in all fields in which LaTeX is used)? Yes, that's the question. > I, as the author of a scientific article, want > to be sure that if I stick to certain conventions (which may be > well be much narrower than the whole of CTAN), any reasonable > publisher will process my manuscript without delay (and screwups > due to retyping, the publisher not knowing about amsmath, etc.). > The publisher will probably also want the same guidelines in order > to reject the screwy stuff for electronic submission, thus giving > the author an "incentive" to submit reasonable files. Also, I want colleagues/co-authors to process it with a minimum of effort. > This, however, cannot work unless a base of packages is defined > (if the base is too narrow, authors will do screwy things out > of desperation), and UNLESS IT IS WELL DOCUMENTED, which, as > far as the practical problems go, is problem number one > (perhaps on the same level as the frontmatter stuff). Yes, it must not be too narrow and must be well documented. -- Phillip Helbig Email ......... [log in to unmask] Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories Tel. .... +44 1477 571 321 (ext. 297) Jodrell Bank Fax ................ +44 1477 571 618 Macclesfield Telex ................ 36149 JODREL G UK-Cheshire SK11 9DL Web ... http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/~pjh/ My opinions are not necessarily those of NRAL or the University of Manchester.