[tex-live] Directory structure for package including files

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Jun 28 00:32:42 CEST 2016

On 2016-06-27 at 10:54:17 +0200, Urs Liska wrote:

 > Hi Zdenek,
 > thank you for the explanation.
 > When I published my last package things were more complicated (providing
 > additional Python scripts, font files etc.) so I probably didn't think
 > of it being that simple and "flat" in simpler cases.
 > But then I was strongly discouraged to provide a TDS file. Have
 > recommendations changed in the last few years?

Not within the last few years.  More than a decade ago TDS files were
preferred.  But Karl Berry said that if a TDS file isn't 100% correct,
it's not helpful at all and even causes much more extra work.

However, IMO it's very helpful if there is one level of subdirectories
on CTAN, for instance doc/, tex/, source/, ...

I suppose that most CTAN users are interested in documentation only.
It's also quite helpful to have distinct directories for macros and
documentation because this allows the author to make clear whether a
particular file is only part of the documentation (has to be found by
texdoc) or must be accessible at run-time (has to be found by TeX).  

VnTeX, for instance, comes with a lot of test files which can't even
be compiled easily on all platforms.  I prefer to have these files
in source/ instead of doc/.  With a completely flat hierarchy (only
one directory for everything) all my intentions certainly get lost.

A flat hierarchy (only one level) is quite helpful IMO in order to
preserve the author's intents.

This is also described at


but I think that instead of distinguishing between small and very
large packages, it makes more sense to assume that your package is
very large if particular files in your package have to be installed at
certain places.  If there are no such ambiguities you can assume that
your package is small.


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

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