[tex-live] tds.zip

Ulrike Fischer news2 at nililand.de
Wed Nov 19 10:31:15 CET 2008

Am Tue, 18 Nov 2008 13:28:51 -0500 schrieb Jim Hefferon:

> Ulrike Fischer:
>> I don't understand what this means. Why is a .tds.zip not suitable for
>> CTAN?  (There are a lot tds.zip on CTAN).
> I can give you my take.  One of the most common comments we get from
> users is that it is hard for people to understand what the packages do.
> We have responded by spending a lot of effort asking for documentation
> (both README's and .pdf's), by doing a lot of work on the Catalogue
> (much of it Robin's), and by trying to make the materials easy to
> navigate on the web.  .tds.zip layouts are very hard to navigate.

My question wasn't meant critical or something like this. I was really
wondering. As a miktex user I don't have to install many packages
manually but when the need arise I like the tds.zip: In windows they are
very easy to use -- even if you don't dare to unzip it directly in the
tree. Windows shows the zip in a normal explorer view, you see the
pathes of the files, you can copy the folders and move them to the
texmf. There is no need to compile dtx and ins files and to create a lot
of subfolders. I would always recommend to use the tds.zip for manual

Btw: apart of the tds.zip there are also two install.txt and the manual
in the project files of KOMA. 

> But in part the question goes to what is the role of the archive: for
> instance, to what extent do ordinary users go there and to what extent
> are they just going to their distribution?

In Germany we say that the role of archives is "Sammeln und Bewahren"
("collect and preserve"). The first task of an archive is to _have_
something and only then comes usability and presentation. I value the
work you do in the catalogue and navigation very much, but the most
important thing of CTAN for me is that the files are _there_ at least
for reference. I hate it if packages are only on some more or less
personal websites. There is always the danger that I lose the link or
that the website disappears. 

Ulrike Fischer 

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