[texhax] Finding packages [was `Count down ...']

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Tue May 2 17:56:41 CEST 2006

    That would be wonderful. But I was thinking on something like texhash
    where the dvi/pdf/dtx files can be indexed and retrieved for later use.

texhash already includes every file in the tree in the ls-R files,
including pdf's, dvi's, and dtx's.  It seems kpsewhich does not find
them, though :(.    

Having texdoc (or whatever) know how to read ls-R files (so it could
find anything in .../doc/.../packagename/..., regardless of name) seems
like it would be a good idea.  I don't know who, if anyone, is
maintaining texdoc these days.

Peter Flynn wrote a categorized CTAN search at
http://www.ucc.ie/cgi-bin/ctan -- it looks for file/directory names and
returns packages and doc files.  Perhaps it could be extended to look
for keywords in the tex catalogue, or parse google search output, or
something ...

    On the same lines, on TeXLive, sometimes the packages with full sources
    are there and documentation has to be generated. Can a uniform policy to
    include documentation for all packages be followed? This would greatly
    help when one notices a package and wants to read about it.

Sure, as a policy, it already exists, both for TeX Live.  There is a lot
of effort and special cases in the scripts to generate documentation for
packages where need be.  (In particular, etaremune.pdf is in TL05.)  But
because of the wide variety of tricks authors get up to, the standard
tricks don't always work, and there are so many packages, we don't
always notice if something is not perfectly installed.

One thing that is helping greatly in this regard is that CTAN now
requires documentation (usually pdf) to be included as part of an
uploaded package.  So for new and updated packages, we can just install
that doc as it is.

If you or anyone can volunteer to inspect the TL tree for missing doc
(or otherwise wrongly installed packages), and/or improve texdoc, and/or
whatever else, that would be great.  Finding package documentation has
long been one of the biggest thorns around.


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