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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