Can someone give me an idea (if it is at all possible) about how the document structure will be in the LaTeX3 format. Will it still start with a \documentclass and use \begin{document} ... \end{document}, will we still load a list (hopefully shorter) of packages in the preamble, etc.? And will the awkward syntax of expl3 only affect programmers? So can I continue writing

    \alpha^2 + \beta^2 = \int_a^b e^x\, dx

like I have always done? Or will all of these nice and short commands be replaced by odd expl3 commands with awkwardly long names?

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    The only answer at this moment could be: TBD Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:01
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    @PaulGessler Well yes and no: expl3 is the code layer and is not meant to replace document syntax. On the other hand, the latter is to be decided.
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:05
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    So basically, development of the overall LaTeX3 format (=heart of LaTeX3) is hardly even in its initial stages? After 20 years?
    – Gaussler
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:15
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    @Gaussler The document level syntax is only a small part of the work: indeed, using a layer approach the entire point is to avoid the issue that LaTeX2e has in the sense interface and implementation are tied together.
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:24
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    @Gaussler Apart from the official answer (“to be decided”), I think that the best we can wish is that the LaTeX3 format keeps what's good, and changes what's not that good. Is there anything wrong with your input? I don't think so, so I hope it stays the same. At the same time, I hope that things get better in other areas; for instance, I think the split environment is unnecessary, and should be used by default, so you could use & and \\ inside that equation (just an example).
    – Manuel
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


In 2010, Joseph Wright wrote in What new bits have already been implemented in Latex3? Will my current documents (with many packages) still compile with Latex3?

What is not yet formalised is how LaTeX3 will look for the end user. I think, however, that we can be confident that the current basic model

Some text \emph{with italics}. 

will survive (the project will fail if it does not).

But the best answer to your question probably is What can *I* do to help the LaTeX3 Project by Frank Mittelbach. (Read the whole answer, and the section "Document Interface Layer" in particular).

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