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> > 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"

Yes, this is the problem.

> I wonder if it would not be possible
> to lay down a fairly strict protocol
> governing "acceptable" packages,
> so that one could automate downloading?
>
> At present one actually has to read the README
> to find out what to do
> (eg put associated font files in the right place).

Right.  A pain.

I think the solution is to put more stuff in the core part.  One can
actually automatise updating the core quite easily.

Of course, stuff in core must be guaranteed to work with other stuff in
the core etc.  On the other hand, it's nice to have contrib stuff `use
at your own risk' at some official (CTAN) site.

To sum up, get rid of contrib/supported.  If it's supported, it should
go into the core.  Perhaps one needs a filter here to avoid redundancy
in the core and assure quality, but basically if it's good, someone has
taken the effort and is supporting it, after this filter why not put it
in the core.  There is then core and everything else, which can be like
a trial area.  Gradually core can grow.


--
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.