New version (3.4) of UK TeX FAQ on CTAN and the Web

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at
Wed Jan 29 18:38:11 CET 2003

I have installed a new version of the FAQ.

As usual, a small set of new questions/answers has been added, and a
number of typos and plain-and-simple bugs have been corrected.

In addition, I have addressed a significant problem with the
presentation of URLs for directories, on the Web.  In the last few
months I have learned that some browsers always provide the answer
"non-existent" if you ask a CTAN node for a .tar.gz or a .zip file of
a directory.  (Tracing reveals packets where the client is asking
whether the file exists before attempting to download it; of course
the file _doesn't_ exist, and our FTP daemons aren't smart enough to
spot this case.  None of which explains _why_ these browsers behave
like this.)

Now, whenever the FAQ used to present a .tar.gz URL for a directory,
it also presents a .zip URL, and a URL for "browsing" (the latter two
in parentheses).  If all else fails, frustrated users may download a
directory one file at a time.

I have also made a small improvement to the way searches are
conducted.  I've been thinking about how to do this job better, but at
least now one of the worst excesses of the stupidity of the old
version have gone: the search regards space-separated words as

A further advance has come for users of the PDF versions; thanks to
the good offices of Heiko Oberdiek, those files now have thumbnails by
each question title.  In the thumbnail's data, one finds the URL for
this question (in my favoured "label" format), and the question title.

As always, I shall be pathetically grateful for help with new answers,
or corrections to old answers, in the FAQ -- feel free to mail to
faq at

An HTML-only (i.e., no searching) version of the FAQ is available for
use by TeX distribution builders; for those who already use it, the
new version is in the usual place -- those who don't already use it
may contact me for details.

Robin Fairbairns

UK TeX FAQ maintainer

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