[tug-summer-of-code] Project idea: LaTeX3 "microkernel"

Will Robertson wspr81 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 8 12:45:27 CET 2009

On 08/03/2009, at 8:42 PM, Jonathan Fine wrote:

>> What are the obstacles to writing a secure LaTeX for MathTran?
> Thank you for your interest.
> It would help if the LaTeX3 project adopted a programming  
> environment that could produce macros for both the secure and  
> traditional environments.

The current expl3 is set up to provide this already. There is an  
option when l3names is processed to remove all of the old TeX  
primitives from the user namespace; this automatically makes any  
documents processed "secure", since users can't change catcodes and  
the only commands provided to them are "document-level" macros.

However, this to be useful requires all the rest of LaTeX3 to be  
organised, and that's what this microkernel project is all about  
getting started with. We're not talking about actually being able to  
write proper documents in LaTeX3 yet, just to be able to create the  
format and write "hello world".

To be absolutely clear here: there is *no* user interface to LaTeX3  
yet. All of our work recently has been in the programming subsystem  
that is intended to also be used for LaTeX2e packages.

* * *

Back to my question: what are the obstacles in providing a "secure  
LaTeX2e" for MathTran? I'm guessing you'd need to create your own fork  
of the LaTeX kernel plus the packages you want to support [1], and  
then re-implement them with primitives that aren't in the user  
namespace. Would this be enough work for a GSoC project?

[1]: I'm guessing the main use of MathTran is to provide snippets of  
math, so all you'd need to support is the kernel and the amsmath  
package perhaps with a couple of font packages as well.


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