CTAN Comprehensive TeX Archive Network

CTAN auto-archiv­ing: the fu­ture

Date: Fe­bru­ary 26, 2005 2:10:52 PM CET
"Auto-archiv­ing" is the mech­a­nism that al­lows you to get all of a di­rec­tory's con­tents at once, by ask­ing your ftp client for a down­load of <di­rec­tory name>.zip or <di­rec­tory name>.tar.gz . The ftp dae­mon cre­ates these bun­dles on the fly. Auto-archiv­ing is avail­able at some CTAN sites and mir­rors as a con­vience for users. The great ad­van­tage of auto-archiv­ing is that it pro­vides short-cuts for the or­di­nary user, who doesn't want to per­form a re­trieval op­er­a­tion for ev­ery file in a di­rec­tory, or is con­cerned about how many files to down­load. An ad­di­tional ad­van­tage is the sim­ple fact of com­pres­sion: there are sav­ings in net­work band­width, and hence down­load time, to be had. The man­age­ment of CTAN has been con­cerned, for some time, about auto-archive of­fered by the cen­tral CTAN nodes, for two rea­sons: a. Auto-archiv­ing is of­fered by a small mi­nor­ity of mir­ror sites. While we have a script that checks, once a week, whether a site of­fers the ser­vice, the sit­u­a­tion con­tin­ues to pro­voke "sur­prise". b. Auto-archiv­ing is not pos­si­ble us­ing the newer gen­er­a­tion of ftp dae­mon soft­ware. There are com­pelling rea­sons for us to try that soft­ware, but we can't do so while we claim to of­fer an auto-archive ser­vice. For these rea­sons, the CTAN team is con­sid­er­ing with­draw­ing the auto-archive fa­cil­ity. How­ever, we want to re­tain as many of the ad­van­tages of its avail­abil­ity as is pos­si­ble. We are there­fore pop­u­lat­ing CTAN with .zip archives of di­rec­to­ries; so, for ex­am­ple, you will find 2005/02/17 | 8129 | macros/la­tex/con­trib/al­num­sec.zip 2005/02/16 | 862 | macros/la­tex/con­trib/al­num­sec/README 2005/02/16 | 20567 | macros/la­tex/con­trib/al­num­sec/al­num­sec.dtx in FILES.by­name; al­num­sec.zip is a copy of the di­rec­tory con­tain­ing the other two files. We chose .zip as an archiv­ing for­mat since it's the near­est ap­proach to a com­pres­sion for­mat that's (rel­a­tively) read­ily avail­able on all com­mon plat­forms. (Among other things, the free un­zip ap­pli­ca­tion (from the info-zip project) has nice prop­er­ties in deal­ing with dif­fer­ent op­er­at­ing sys­tems' text file for­mats.) Bet­ter com­pres­sion per­for­mance is avail­able with other for­mats, but we be­lieve a con­ser­va­tive ap­proach will serve the com­mu­nity bet­ter. Any­one with con­cerns about this move may ei­ther dis­cuss the mat­ter on the tex­hax mail­ing list or the comp.text.tex news­group, or they may mail their con­cerns to the CTAN team at the usual ad­dress: <ctan at dante dot de> Robin Fair­bairns For the CTAN team

al­num­sec – Al­phanu­meric sec­tion num­ber­ing

This pack­age al­lows you to use al­phanu­meric sec­tion num­ber­ing, for in­stance “A. In­tro­duc­tion … III. In­ter­na­tional Law”. Its out­put is sim­i­lar to al­phanum, but you can use the stan­dard sec­tion­ing com­mands, so that it is pos­si­ble to switch num­ber­ing schemes eas­ily. Greek let­ters, dou­ble let­ters (bb) and dif­fer­ent de­lim­iters around them are sup­ported.

Main­tainerFrank Küster



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