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30 years ago LaTeX was quite compact and observable being. Nowdays, CTAN repository counts more than 4k LaTeX packages and their number continues growing so that it is absolutely impossible to observe most packages within a sigle book. This makes difficult for newcomers to learn LaTeX. Many packages are not compatible, many are sensitive to the order of loading, many packages do almost the same things. For example, there are 4 incompatible packages on CTAN which provide bibtex/biblatex styles for GOST, a Russian state standard of bibliographic description. Note that there should be only one state standard at any instant of time, otherwise it is not a standard.

I am afraid that my question will be voted down but I'll ask it:

Does writing LaTeX packages need more strict moderation than now? Can someone propose a mechanism of such a moderation.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by yo', Peter Jansson, Jesse, Alan Munn, Jubobs Jan 14 '14 at 17:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Maybe a question for LaTeX meta ? –  Laurent Jan 14 '14 at 11:46
One standard can have many implementations, see C++. –  marczellm Jan 14 '14 at 11:54
I think moderating the writing of LaTeX packages goes against the spirit of LaTeX. If you set up gatekeepers on what can and can't be submitted as a package, I believe you will end up with a sterile product... able to do certain "pre-approved" things, but unable to flexibly change with the needs of the user base. –  Steven B. Segletes Jan 14 '14 at 12:02
@Oxinabox you have history backwards: we did ctan first and perl community copied us (with attribution:-) –  David Carlisle Jan 14 '14 at 14:45
@Oxinabox it has a definitive answer but unfortunately the system doesn't allow two letter answers:-) –  David Carlisle Jan 14 '14 at 15:00

1 Answer 1

i don't know about needing more strict moderation (all we do is check a package for internal consistency before installing on ctan).

however, if we were to go that way, we would need to find someone (or more than one person) who one could reasonably hope would carry the community with her/his views.

but i fear “closing the door” now would create chaos in processing bug-fix updates, etc.

so cataloguing is probably the way to go; the ctan catalogue tries not to make value judgements, but i see no difficulty in principle with creating a catalogue that does tell you that package x does the job while package y is difficult to use/doesn't do the job right/...

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