[tex-live] [LONG] Improving TeX package classification and the associated documentaion

Florent Rougon f.rougon at free.fr
Tue Jul 3 17:19:59 CEST 2007

Florent Rougon <f.rougon at free.fr> wrote:

>> I'd suggest a special line in the README file for the author's tags
>> (while still allowing ctan2tl, etc. to add more tags).
> Ugh, that's awful. :-P
> The catalogue is already based on XML; I think that if we add structured
> data such as the metadata mentioned here, we should continue this way.

Actually, I was in a hurry and answered a bit quickly here: for really
simple stuff such as a list of tags, I'm open to other formats than XML
(e.g., RFC-2822[1] would be OK).

What I'm opposed to is embedding machine-parseable information in a
freeform file such as a README file. IMHO, if we want to put
machine-parseable info into packages, then it ought to be in special
files that are *fully* machine-parseable.

The advantages of XML is that it is good for describing structured data
and is easily eXtensible (yup, this is what the X in XML stands for...).
The disadvantage with respect to RFC-2822 is that XML might look
slightly scary for real newbies. But IMO, people able to maintain LaTeX
packages shouldn't be afraid of such a common and straightforward

With RFC-2822 on the other hand, the file would look quite
user-friendly... maybe too. I think users would often update them in
such ways that they don't have a valid syntax, since such files look too
much as freeform files. For instance, users could well screw up the
folding of long lines (which need whitespace at the beginning of every
continuation line). Furthermore, RFC-2822 syntax is far less convenient
than XML for describing structured data IMHO.

  [1] http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2822.html


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