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Hello Bill

>>  if I may run the last thought on:

Certainly!

>>  and that can be regarded as definitive by those who write programs for
>>  translating LaTeX to-and-from other formats

agreed, and

>>
I think a standard list of core LaTeX user level commands (from the
kernel and core packages) would be great.
>>

but

>>
Because it will not be frozen forever in time,
>>

yes, this is needed in addition to a

I had been thinking of both a 'standard' that is fixed (unless, for
     example, a new package clearly needs to be added or the basic user
     commands get extended (very unlikely!)) and, in addition, a non-frozen
     list (or lists) of what is 'available' 'widely used' or 'what
     XXX-system understands': these lists would then be easier to create
     since they can be of the form
     standard + <additions> - <unsupported/unused>.

It may turn out that there is a need for more than one such 'standard':
from where I sit, bombarded by YAMathInput system versions, just to get

  basic-math + amsmath

structures into a well-publicised standard would be really useful.

Would such standards suit you too?

>> it should be something that is distributed with LaTeX.
That of course is up to Them:-).
(Getting anything distributed is quite a pin these days.)

Any other ideas/comments form suppliers/users of LaTeX-encoded documents
would be welcome.  Thanks,  chris

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