Opening a can of worms

David Carlisle
Fri, 3 Nov 95 10:01:19 GMT

J> Will you discard all macro files that don't conform to 8.3 from CTAN?
S> yes, i might well consider weeding them out, and moving them to a
S> special area marked as "non-TDS-compliant, you might have problems"

Hmm you might have to weed out some of the standard LaTeX tools
packages as well. Which probably means weeding out all of them as they
are supposed to be distributed together.

The TDS document already explicitly suggests that some sites may want
to stay with long pk font names, as long as the implementation
supports both long and short forms, and I think that that is the best
that can be done in this area.

When we started packaging up the old LaTeX2.09 styles for the first
LaTeX2e release, I considered renaming all the styles to 8+3 names. In
fact I did do this, and changed all the internal documentation and
cross references to match. However in the end we decided that of two
bad possiblities, this was the worse, and so reverted the changes.

Essentially the problem is that distributing the thing under two names
is just too error prone, and changing the name breaks all existing
documents, and makes all the published documentation wrong. So just
decided to live with the names we've got but use 8+3 for any new

As far as I know all PC TeX's will map fancyheadings.sty (or
longtable.sty) down to some 8+3 name or other and so the long name
does not cause a problem for portable documents. It does make moving
the style file from a 8+3 system to a longname system slightly harder
but...  Conversely if you change the name of a package you break many
documents. As presumably there are many more documents than there are
these troublesome packages this seemed to be a much worse alternative.