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On Mar 9, 2011, at 5:38 AM, Frank Mittelbach wrote:

> Now you can say that if somebody starts of  the document with
> 
> \usepackage{expl3,xparse,template} 
> 
> say then everything will be fine whether or not the document will be produced
> by ordinary 2e format or 2x.
> 
> But history will tell us that what is likely to happen is that people start
> writing documents that will not \RequirePackage/\usepackage

Would it be possible to build the format in such a way that the packages in question are built into it, but not activated unless such line(s) were present in the document?

The check will be quick enough that we'd still save the half-second or so per document, no?

fixltx2e should still be loaded regardless, but this way documents would have a marker text in them indicating that they weren't suitable for standard latex2e.

Would there need to be an ``\activatepackage'' command? Or is there some better command which should be used in LaTeX3? I've complained in the past of LaTeX2e document pre-ambles being meaningless line-after-line of \usepackage{foo} and would really like to see a nicer interface here --- would this be a good opportunity to introduce it?

William

-- 
William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.