I guess we're going to talk about the value and uses of genealogical numbering systems. I still hope both of you will answer my original question.
"I don't doubt that there may be uses and applications for such a numbering system"
How about the Ahnentafel numbering used by FTM (and most of the global genealogical community) in ancestral reports?
"If one goes to a genealogy section of any library, one will find genealogy books in three general styles"
I would add a fourth to that: by line (usually presented by family names, depending on the culture)
"I think alphabetical makes as much sense as a numbering system that most people won't understand."
I do agree that all genealogical numbering systems after several generations often become esoteric. But, even if people don't fully grasp how they reflect the relationship back to the root person, they still can be helpful navigating up and down the tree, chart, book, etc. At the very least, I think they don't make things worse.
(And shame on any author of genealogies in a book that doesn't include an index of individuals!)
"This type of ancestor arrangement has been going for at least two hundred years and it is amazing that modern genealogy programs ignore it."
I don't use the book feature of FTM, so I don't know the good or bad. I take your word for it.
As for the other items available in the publishing workspace, I think the numbering systems do add value and should be available on more things (like charts made to accompany reports).
As for numbers being left out entirely from an Ahnentafel report or Register report, if there is a demand to do that, then that's a simple modification to the software and should be made available again (as in the ancestor and descendant reports that used to be available as customized versions of the "official" styles).
"We can now do direct line outline descendant reports as well as charts - but not register reports."
I think that's because they're trying to make the register report conform to their view of the "standard" for register reports. That's why its configuration options are so limited.