[tex-live] MNRAS LaTeX style updates

John Collins collins at phys.psu.edu
Tue Dec 2 15:25:55 CET 2014

On 11/26/2014 11:46 AM, Keith T. Smith wrote:
> I'm one of the Assistant Editors who work on the journal Monthly
> Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. I'm currently in the
> process of updating our LaTeX style files. They've not been modified
> since 2002, so there's quite a lot to do.
> Could you please give me some advice on how to proceed with this? The
> obvious one would be to rename the class file e.g. from mn2e.cls to
> mnras.cls , but that might be a drastic option.

Actually, that's not a drastic option, but the preferred one.  Other 
journals have done exactly the same.  One of several examples is that 
the American Physical Society changed the name of their class file at 
each major update, from revtex.sty to revtex4.cls to revtex4-1.cls. 
That way new features could be introduced without having to maintain 
strict backward compatibility, which is hard to achieve in reality.

 > From http://arxiv.org/help/faq/aaclass and
 > http://arxiv.org/help/submit_tex#wegotem I realised that package
 > updates have caused difficulty for arXiv in the past, and would
 > like to avoid compatibility problems if possible.

I find the arguments given there to be compelling that you do in fact 
need to change the name of a journal class file when you make major 
changes to the class file.  (Adding a version string in the file name to 
make mn2e-2.cls, for example, seems the best convention for a name 
change.)  Of course, the old version(s) of the class and other files 
need to stay on CTAN indefinitely, so that unchanged legacy documents 
remain compilable, particularly by arXiv.org but also by ordinary users.

John Collins

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