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Policy on standard classes

Many of the problem reports we receive concerning the standard classes are not concerned with bugs but are suggesting, more or less politely, that the design decisions embodied in them are `not optimal' and asking us to modify them.

There are several reasons why we should not make such changes to these files.

We have therefore decided not to even consider making such modifications, nor to spend time justifying that decision. This does not mean that we do not agree that there are many deficiencies in the design of these classes, but we have many tasks with higher priority than continually explaining why the standard classes for LaTeX cannot be changed.

We would, of course, welcome the production of better classes, or of packages that can be used to enhance these classes. So your first thought when you consider such a deficiency will, we hope, be ``what can I do to improve this?''

Similar considerations apply to those parts of the kernel that are implementing design decisions, many of which should be left to the class file but are not in the current system. We realise that in such cases it is much more difficult for you to rectify the problem yourself but it is also the case that making such changes in the kernel would probably be a major project for us; therefore such enhancements will have to wait for LaTeX3.

Rainer Schoepf
Thu Jul 31 16:40:04 MEST 1997