From: scho...@sc.ZIB-Berlin.DE (Rainer Schoepf)
Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Subject: LaTeX2e -- Second Test Release Available
Message-ID: <9402141833.AA25975@pumuckl.ZIB-Berlin.DE>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 19:33:53 +0100
Organization: Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum fuer Informationstechnik Berlin
X-Gateway-Source-Info: Mailing List
Lines: 159

             LaTeX2e -- Second Test Release Available

            Leslie Lamport and the LaTeX3 project team

                        14 February 1994

The second test release of LaTeX is now available.  Notes about this
release are at the end of this announcement.  The first release
revealed a few serious bugs and several other areas which need
attention.  Many people reported that documents and style files had
been processed by the new system without serious problems; this
includes one very important test -- the original text of `The LaTeX
Manual'!  We can also report that this release has been tested with
all the files in the LaTeX 2.09 test suite and produces only
predictable differences in the output.

First, here is the original announcement

LaTeX2e is the new standard version of LaTeX -- prepared and supported
by the LaTeX3 project team.  It is upwardly compatible with LaTeX 2.09
documents, but contains new features.

Over the years many extensions of LaTeX have been developed.  This is,
of course, a welcome development, since it shows that the LaTeX system
is in a healthy state.  It has, however, had one unfortunate
consequence: there are now several incompatible systems, in the sense
of format (.fmt) files, all claiming to be LaTeX.  Therefore, in order
to process documents coming from various places, a site maintainer
needs to provide several format files: LaTeX (with and without NFSS),
SLiTeX, AmSLaTeX, and so on.  In addition, when looking at a source
file it is not always clear for which format the document was written.

LaTeX2e puts an end to this unsatisfactory situation -- it will give
access to all such extensions based on a single format and thus end
the proliferation of mutually incompatible dialects of LaTeX 2.09.

It uses an enhanced version (NFSS2) of the New Font Selection Scheme.
Files such as amstex.sty (formerly the AmSLaTeX format) or slides.sty
(formerly the SLiTeX format) will become extension packages, all
working with this single format.

The introduction of this new version will also make it possible to add
a small number of often-requested features (such as extended versions
of \newcommand).

To summarize:

 * Standardisation: a single format incorporating NFSS2, to replace
                 the present multiplicity of incompatible formats --
                 NFSS, lfonts, pslfonts, etc. 

*  Maintenance: a standardised system supported by a reliable
                 maintenance policy.

LaTeX2e adheres, as far as possible, to the following principles:

 * Unmodified version 2.09 document files can be processed with

 * All new features of LaTeX2e conform to the conventions of version
   2.09, making it as easy as possible for current users to learn to
   use them.

LaTeX2e is described in a new edition of `LaTeX: A Document Preparation
System' by Leslie Lamport (to appear during 1994) and `The LaTeX
Companion' by Goossens, Mittelbach and Samarin, both published by

LaTeX2e will be distributed twice a year.  This distribution is a
preliminary test release, and doesn't contain all of the files that
will be part of the full release.  In particular, it does not contain
the planned extensions in the area of graphics inclusion.

The first full release will be available in Spring 1994.

This is a test release, so please get it and test it on as many
different systems as possible!

Getting the second test release
LaTeX2e can be retrieved by anonymous ftp from the CTAN archives:  /tex-archive/macros/latex2e/core   /tex-archive/macros/latex2e/core   /tex-archive/macros/latex2e/core

Bug reports
Please report any problems with LaTeX2e by using the report-generating
program latexbug.tex, included in the LaTeX2e distribution.  Error
reports should be sent to the following e-mail address:

Help for style/package/class file maintainers
We shall be producing a short document summarising the changes that
may be needed in order to turn a style file for old LaTeX into a class
or package file.  To get the latest information on this subject or to
report problems, please send a message to the following address:

Please ensure that it starts with the following line *exactly*:

>Category: latex-class-writing

If you want a prompt and useful reply, please make your message as
short and precise as possible.

Notes on the second test release

-- Only the straightforward bugs and the serious bugs found in the
   first release have been fixed; other problems are still being
   worked on.  Some of the reports uncovered features of the original
   LaTeX which some consider to be bugs; whether these should be
   `fixed' is not always clear.

-- There are thus several areas, including things arising from bug
   reports, on which we are still working.

-- The details of the distribution, unpacking etc are still under

-- The details of the typography in the standard classes is not

-- The precise functionality of the compatibility mode is not fixed.

-- Still no graphics package!

If you have installed the first release then you must remove it
completely and start again.  This is because there are many small
differences, including new file names, and because the installation
procedure now behaves  differently.

For the LaTeX3 Project
Johannes Braams
David Carlisle
Alan Jeffrey
Frank Mittelbach
Chris Rowley
Rainer Sch\"opf

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