[texhax] Is LaTeX really still being developed?

Joseph Wright joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk
Tue Oct 18 17:50:13 CEST 2011

On 18/10/2011 16:11, Steve Murgaski wrote:
> Hi.  Please forgive an impertinent question, but it seems important to ask.
> I am a blind computer user, so I especially love the concept of separating a document's content from its typesetting.  With WYSIWYG editors I have to go on faith that they're doing what I want, because I can't see the formatting on-screen.  Only the text of my documents is read aloud to me by my screen reading software.
> With LaTeX, the difficulty is that we have to use countless different 'packages' to get the output we want.  It feels very patched together at this point.  So few options are available with the core software that it's necessary to install countless patches on top of it, all written by different people, and not tested together.  The element of faith comes back in that way, and once again I'm never sure what output I'll get.
> According to the LaTeX Wikipedia page, LaTeX3 has been in development for nearly twenty years.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaTeX#Versions
> Is this development really still taking place, or should LaTeX users just resign themselves to using more and more patches as years go by?

Yes, LaTeX3 development is still taking place. As a current member of
the LaTeX3 Project, I'd agree that we need to have more flexibility at
the base layer.

There is nothing that can be done about the length of time that has
passed in the development of LaTeX3: the reasons for the delays are
varied. What can be done is to write good package (reliable) code for
LaTeX2e, and to actually get LaTeX3 written. That is happening, and
Frank Mittelbach will give a talk at TUG2011 tomorrow on what is
happening at the moment.
Joseph Wright

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