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Mark Steinberger wrote:
>
> There may well be many more class files out there than are currently
> available on CTAN.
>
> For instance, nyj.cls, the class for the New York Journal of
> Mathematics, has never been posted to CTAN (but will be, shortly).

Indeed, for example the AMS has some author packages which are not
part of the standard AMSLaTeX distribution.  In particular, the pcms-l
class is very nice and is designed for multiple authors volumes which
are not directly supported by any of the standard classes.

Cambridge University Press has a JFM class which has been ported to
LaTeX2e, and as I remember there is even something on the German
Springer web site...

If you look at these classes, they point to some problem which will
grow in the future: The standard LaTeX classes have a rather
restricted set of front matter commands.  So every publisher is
extending them in mutually incompatible ways.

The AMS classes have reversed the order of abstract and \maketitle
with good reason, I believe, and there is a case that this should be
the default behaviour for all classes.

My experience is that the AMS frontmatter handling is rather advanced
and can easily be adopted to yield distinctly non-AMS design and
ordering of front matter material.  So I would put this forward as a
standard that every class should strive to comply with.  Or has anyone
noticed some intrinsic problems or deficiencies which will need to be
addressed to make the cheme useful in more general circumstances?

In any case, there is definitely the need for a standard.  I would
like to be able to just change the document class to reformat my
documents in a different style without having to do trivial but
annoying changes to the front matter.  Also, when I start writing an
article, I don't necessarily know where it will be published.  Thus it
is practically useful to have a front matter standard that all
publishers could agree to and comply with.

  Marcel