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LaTeX forever (Was: math fonts, ALternatives to LaTeX)

At 22:00 97-04-15, Frank Mittelbach wrote:

>as important as this subject is it might not be so important to
>everybody having an interest in LaTeX. so I don't mind continuing
>those discussions at least for a while there.

  In fact, I disagree, because as far as the TeX community is concerned, it
might well be a good idea that everbody has an interest in LaTeX, at least
as ideals in the following senses:

1. LaTeX should be developed so TeX package writers might prefer to write
it as a LaTeX package rather than an independent package.

2. Users might prefer to use LaTeX plus some LaTeX packages, rather than
independent packages.

  If you just want to write in one style, then it is feasible designing
your own macro-package combination, but if you need to blend or write in
several styles, this is not really possible, as it becomes too time

  At 15:59 97-04-15, Marcel Oliver wrote:

>All the more technical issues discussed seem to eventually
>boil down to some basic limitation in TeX the program and
>a lot of time and effort is spent by mending these on the
>macro level, or by reencoding fonts.
>The most striking example might be the non-hyphenation of
>words containing accented letters.
>Much of the mathfont problems seem to be due to some other
>limitations in the font handling in TeX, I also remember
>some discussion about shortref mechanisms, which
>essentially got to the point "it cannot really be
>done in TeX, but we can write some clever hacks to do it".

  This is also my impression, that the top priority ought to be a TeX
upgrade, so that the kerning and hyphenation directives of LaTeX3 could be
easily implemented.

  This extraordinary wrestling at the outer limits of the capability of TeX
is not good in the long run, as the code produced may not be suffiently
reliable (as it becomes difficult to foresee eventual code clashes), even
though that code wrestling gives a good idea of what the problems involved

  Hans Aberg