# [texhax] Calss file

Philip G. Ratcliffe philip.ratcliffe at uninsubria.it
Tue Jun 3 12:36:30 CEST 2003

> I think several of the reply you got are too much discouraging.

Well, not wishing to sound too snooty, it really shouldn't have been
necessary to ask such a question: writing packages and particularly classes
needs a certain knowledge of LaTeX (rather deeper than any simple manual).
To get such knowledge one has to scout around in the archives and read other
package manuals etc.; and no-one is going to hold your hand while you do it.
So, since the question was put, I think it's more than fair all round to be
very discouraging.

> It is certainly not easy and for experts only the job of writing
> public packages, ...

Too right!  And there are many many pitfalls for the inexperienced.

> but for your own use, I personally see it easy and convenient.

I have to disagree, in principle.  There's a great deal of work to writing
real packages and many (very many) already exist.  The beginner would much
better be encouraged to root around in CTAN and find out what's already
available; an enourmous fraction of replies to questions in this and other
lists are of the form: "take a look at xyz package."

On the other hand, if all that you want is to conveniently collect your own
personal (re)definitions of the sort \newcommand\PGR{Philip G. Ratcliffe} or
\newcommand\Tab[1]{Table~\ref{#1}}, then there's essentially nothing to it.

Cheers,  Phil