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Classes, styles, conflicts

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Title Classes, styles, conflicts
Subtitle The biological realm of LaTeX
Title of Series The 31st Annual Meeting of the TeX Users Group (TUG 2010)
Part Number 18
Number of Parts 35
Author Verna, Didier
License CC Attribution - NoDerivatives 2.0 UK: England & Wales:
You are free to use, copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in unchanged form for any legal purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
DOI 10.5446/30851
Publisher River Valley TV
Release Date 2012
Language English
Production Place San Francisco, California, USA

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Subject Area Information technology
Abstract Every LATEX user faces the “compatibility nightmare”one day. With so much intercession capabilitiesat hand (LATEX code being able to redefine itself at will), a time comes inevitably when thecompilation of a document fails, due to a class/styleconflict. In an ideal world, class/style conflictsshould only be a concern for package maintainers,not end-users of LATEX. Unfortunately, the world isreal, not ideal, and end-user document compilationdoes break. As both a class/style maintainer and a documentauthor, I tried several times to come up withsome general principles or a systematic approach tohandling class/style cross-compatibility in a smoothand gentle manner, but I ultimately failed. Instead,one Monday morning, I woke up with this vision ofthe LATEX biotope, an emergent phenomenon whoseglobal behavior cannot be comprehended, becauseit is in fact the result of a myriad of “macro”-interactions between small entities, themselves inperpetual evolution.

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