Questions and suggestions about TDS

Ulrik Vieth
Fri, 20 Oct 1995 11:34:36 +0100

> Dear TDS-team,
>  First, I would like to thank you all for doing a great job. There is
> really a need for a standard for TeX-files.

> Now to my question. Macro packages that contain bst-files would cause
> problems. In TWG-TDS 0.98, there is no further subdivision of the
> "texmf/bst" and "texmf/bib" directories. Why? Is it not reasonabel that the
> "texmf/bst"-directory is subdivided as "texmf/bibtex/bst/package", or
> something similar? This is the way you have treated all other directories
> containing files needed for the TeX-installation, such as "texmf/metafont",
> "texmf/tex" and "texmf/fonts".

I like this idea of introducing a package subdivision below texmf/bibtex/bst.
(Actually, some BibTeX packages put related macro definitions in .bib files, 
e.g. mrabbrev.bib from amslatex, so the same applies for texmf/bibtex/bib.)

I guess the need for a subdivision wasn't that much apparent as in the case 
of texmf/tex, but it's true that it would be better not to throw packages
from various sources all in one directory.  The only problem that might 
occur is that various BibTeX database handling software might not be up 
to path searching yet as it is the case with BibTeX itself.

> Finally, the TDS is a structure designed the an working installation of
> TeX. Thus it is not suitable for archiving purposes. The CTAN-structure
> however, is quit good for archiving purposes, since all files related to a
> macro pckage are collected in one place. Would it be a good idea to use the
> CTAN-structure for the "texmf/source"-directory?

I'm not sure about this.  Personally, I tend to follow the layout of texmf/tex
where possible, e.g. texmf/source/latex/package whether or not it is located
on CTAN in macros/latex/base, macros/latex/packages or macros/latex/contrib.
This means that I can find all related files of a specific package in 
texmf/{source,tex,src}/{latex,generic}/package or simply texmf/*/*/package.
I think this is more useful than exactly following the CTAN layout.

> Yours sincerely,
> Ozan

Thanks for your feedback.  Concerning texmf/bibtex, I think you brought up 
a good idea that we have missed so far.

Ulrik Vieth.