Create Archive for actual publication archiving

It’s great that PTXprint can create a project archive for sending to the developers. That’s worked well several times for me. I’m thinking this would also be a good “source” file for archiving a publication, since it has everything needed to recreate the publication. There are, however, a few files that don’t seem like they would be necessary in a publication archive file, like the local\ptxprint\book\filename.xdv file, which is 3.2MB (but zips down to 350Kb). Also the shared\fonts, if you are using standard fonts (like Charis SIL) - the fonts add fairly significantly to the size of the archive .zip file. (And I’m surprised that my archive includes SourceCodePro-Light.ttf, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t show up anywhere in the project… Where did that come from?) Maybe other files as well?

Obviously it wouldn’t be the end of the world if those files were included in the archive file, but if they aren’t needed to reconstruct the output, I’m thinking it would be nicer to streamline the archive file a bit (less storage, faster uploads/download, etc.).

What are your thoughts / suggestions?

The original intention for the “Create Archive” button was exactly that - to be able to gather all the pieces (including the TeX macros, source SFM files, fonts, illustrations, and so on) in order for the exact same output to be produced in another location, at a (much) later time, and even on different hardware (with a different OS). Our experience over the last couple of years is that it is easy to miss one crucial file which potentially scuttles the whole process (for example we recently discovered that the AdjLists were being missed, so they have since been added). So, right now we’re erring on the side of caution and possibly including more than we need to, but for good reason.

I believe that SourceCodePro-Light.ttf has been included as a small font to handle the identification text around the edge of the page when cropmarks are printed. The other fonts are VERY important as they inevitably change over time, and you only need a minor change to a standard font like Charis SIL for the whole job to break, or require reflowing/balancing the text.

You are probably right that the .XDV file isn’t needed for a true long-term publication archive, but it is sometimes helpful in the case of a troubleshooting archive.

So I would suggest that if size is an issue (for upload reasons), that you carefully weed out any files from the .ZIP that you feel are superfluous before uploading. But be careful not to make any wrong assumptions.

There is an issue out there (enhancement request #499) regarding the automatic creation of an archive for submission to REAP. That’s where we’d like to be eventually, but the discussion is progressing rather slowly.