[tex-live] MNRAS LaTeX style updates

Joseph Wright joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk
Wed Nov 26 22:51:19 CET 2014

On 26/11/2014 16:46, Keith T. Smith wrote:
> Hi
> I apologise if this is the wrong place to ask - I initially tried asking arXiv but they told me to speak to you instead.
> I'm one of the Assistant Editors who work on the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. I'm currently in the process of updating our LaTeX style files. They've not been modified since 2002, so there's quite a lot to do.
> The package already exists on CTAN: http://www.ctan.org/pkg/mnras with the main file named mn2e.cls
>>From http://arxiv.org/help/faq/aaclass and http://arxiv.org/help/submit_tex#wegotem I realised that package updates have caused difficulty for arXiv in the past, and would like to avoid compatibility problems if possible. They've refused to help me, although I suppose compatibility issues will affect other installations as well as arXiv.
> We've added various new commands which I suspect may not be backwards compatible with custom commands specified by document authors e.g. \ion and \eprint, and some of the layout, footer etc. options have changed which will modify the appearance of older papers. I've not encountered an example where compiling old papers actually breaks, but nor have I done much testing.
> Could you please give me some advice on how to proceed with this? The obvious one would be to rename the class file e.g. from mn2e.cls to mnras.cls , but that might be a drastic option. Any help you can provide would be appreciated.
> Keith

The first thing to note is that this is a general LaTeX question, not a
TeX Live one. I'll give a bit of advice here but you are probably best
raising on "texhax" (general mailing list) or places such as TeX
StackExchnage (though tere it is more one issue at a time).

This sounds like it needs a bit of work, so the first thing to do is to
establish what you want to happen in detail. For example, do you want
existing documents to keep working with the updated style and if so are
any modifications of old code acceptable. If they are not then leaving
the existing version alone and creating a new one may be the only way.
On the other hand, one can use for example \providecommand to produce
new document commands using the \AtBeginDocument hook, helping the class
continue to work with older files. I'd certainly be tempted to draw up a
careful list of changes you aim for and some test cases in terms of what
they should do.

You don't say how much experience you've got with TeX: that is going to
be important in any revisions!
Joseph Wright

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