"As for answering your original question, I thought I had done that. I don't object to the paternal line by paternal line of each mother in an ancestry, as the chart in your link shows."
Maybe you did and I just missed it. It wouldn't be the first time we were discussing something and I missed something obvious on the screen. ;)
Anyway, I asked this: if you were given the option by FTM of using Ancestral Lines on its Anhentafel report instead of the current Ahnentafel-style numbering system, would you? That's the only item I can find in the Publish workspace where FTM uses an ancestral numbering system, and it doesn't give you an option: numbers are always included.
"I don't really need the numbers, though. I'd prefer the numbers be an option."
You wrote that in reference to a pedigree chart. I agree that the numbers aren't necessary on things like that because the chart expresses the relationships. As such, however, it's the most obvious and simple way to demonstrate the numbering system in action...but perhaps unfair to criticize the example when it's intentionally superfluous for the purpose of illustration.
I too wish that it were an option in FTM on pedigree charts to include or exclude numbering. Numbered charts make good companions to numbered reports.
"In fact, this approach parellels annual enhancement requests I've made to FTM for a line by line ancestral report in addition to the ahnentafel report that already exists."
I don't know if you've looked at the Ancestral Lines system in detail, but one of its goals is to express and track ancestral lines over successive generations. Separate ancestral lines, therefore, are given unique numbers. This provides a logical, mathematically derived structure for representing "Ancestral Lines", hence the name. For those of us dealing with cultures that don't employ family names (e.g. Scandinavians) this is particularly helpful because there is no surname to alphabetize.
If I'm not mistaken, this "Ancestral Lines" system could have been used by the author of the book you referenced, because in the patrilineal version, lines are traced backward through males only. Each female introduces another unique line.
More generally, I didn't want this to get out of the context of the original question (FTM's Ahnentafel report) because it can get messy when talking about authoring books that deal with non-intersecting ancestral lines. Genealogical numbering systems are relative to the root person. Multiple roots obviously then require multiple applications of a numbering system. This is one of the pitfalls kj was cautioning us against the situation where a reader might see a number in one system and mistakenly think it's valid in another system, because he doesn't know the numbers are relative and not absolute. Books, therefore, require different treatment in our discussion of genealogical numbering systems, and we should separate that from their more straightforward usage in Ahnentafel reports and their like.
PS. I do like your recommendation for the option of restructuring reports along ancestral lines (small letters). The value of such a suggestion might be more evident to the community if someone were to make a sample of how such a report would be organized.