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(Perhaps some who are quiet are busy or do not know quite what to say.
I don't think that the silence indicates a lack of interest.)

Inasmuch as I have never written a package or a style and, therefore,
do not have a serious grasp of the issues, I am nonetheless interested
in the hierarchy of function that you are implementing, and I do want
to see it exploited fully.

I suspect that some of the gains over 2E achieved this way correspond
to gains that can be had with SGML/XML pre-processing from a language
that is LaTeX-like.  That is, there is more than one way to cut the
cake.

While I have been focused on modeling author-level LaTeX, not always
as closely as possible, I wonder if it might be useful for somebody to
think about modeling in SGML or XML a LaTeX package language.  (Just
a thought.)

Frank Mittelbach writes:

> let's forget for a second the template side of this, how would you consider
> providing an interface for that on the LaTeX level?
>
> this is a serious \footnote[question]{Like this? which would of course be
> incompatible with the current interface.}

In my prototype I began with a command

\anch[href="http://www.ctan.org"]{CTAN}

where the option has a much stricter string-like variable=string
(possibly repeated) content model, a model not fully expressible in
dtd language, but the argument can take inline markup.  *ML processing
of the variable=string pairs is keyed on the variable name.  So href
is an external ref, iref an internal ref to a \label, and fref a
footnote ref, ... (others could be added).  For href the value string
is the url, which is set in strict LaTeX as a footnote to the
argument.  For fref the value string is the footnote text, which in
HTML goes in a list of footnotes at the bottom of the doc.  For iref,
the value string corresponds to HTML "#location" that is set in LaTeX
as a \cite.  I might later add jref for a ref to another part of the
same document that is not quite technically internal.

Later I decided to add ordinary \footnote even though \anch provides
the same thing.

And I decided to save the author time by providing

\urlanch{http://www.ctan.org} .

Here the argument is a url string that is set in LaTeX with \verb,
which enables me to use the somewhat shady character `~' in a url,
which I cannot do in an href option for \anch since that goes into
a regular LaTeX footnote (and \string~ is not quite what I consider
regular LaTeX, anyway).

One of the points here is that somebody who does not like my choices
can easily make changes to my perl.  Side effects will not usually
be a problem.

>   text text\footnote{first}\footnote{second}
>
> in most case this would be supposed to come out as
>
>             1, 2
>   text text
>
> and not as
>
>             12
>   text text
>
> as it would in current LaTeX.
>
> now please don't tell me that \footnote could easily scan for a \footnote
> following. i know, but how do i specify this if we separate frontend (ie
> \footnote declared via something like the xparse package from the typesetting
> declaration)

From my point of view one wants different types of "macro"
declarations that can be made at various stages, and one wants to have
very clearly laid out rules about what can be done with each.

That said, what about giving the issue to the authors with
something new for this purpose such as \footnotesequence ?

                                   -- Bill