Best practice to include non-tex documentation in a CTAN package

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at
Wed Nov 18 22:39:22 CET 2020

On 2020-11-18 at 21:58:17 +0100, Louis wrote:

 > Hello,
 > one of my package [1] being a python program, its documentation is
 > written using Sphinx [2] (the de-facto standard for documentation of
 > Python programs). It consists of .rst files, which are
 > compiled by Sphinx into a HTML website, and in a .tex file which is
 > itself compiled into a pdf file.
 > [1]
 > [2]
 > My CTAN package does contain the pdf documentation, but I have
 > been told that it should include the source files. Which files should I
 > include?
 > - the .rst files (and .png files), with a README to explain how to
 > compile them?
 > - the generated .tex file (and .png files)? Problem: it uses a bunch of
 > sphinx-specific packages which are part of the (python) sphinx package,
 > but are not packaged in CTAN, although they are free (BSD 3-clause).
 > Should I include them as well?

Hi Louis,
if the files are part of Python/Spinx I dont't see any need to provide
them.  IMO it's better if these files are solely maintained by their
authors.  It's best to put only the files on CTAN you've written

An other reason not to put them on CTAN is that Python needs them in
_its_ search path.

And for Linux distributors it's quite problematic if one and the same
file appears in different packages (Python and TeX Live).


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

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