Is it considered good practice to give attribution to authors or projects that have produced the different TeX-systems, document classes etc, in the final typeset document?

Specific example: I have produced a report which is typeset in XeLaTeX based on a modified version of the tufte-book document class. Should I give attribution to the projects or authors in the colophon in the final report?

The tufte-classes are have the Apache 2.0 licence, and LaTeX the LPPL licence – but both refers to the software, not the typeset material, as far as I understand them.


I'd mention the projects, giving authors will be longer than your report ;-). What to mention is another question... I'm using TeXlive, with memoir and a long list of packages. Most of the figures are written in asymptote (also part of TeXlive here, but really a separate program). The editing is in Xemacs with AUCTeX. Etc. It's a hard call, mention "only the most important ones" will leave out a lot of indispensable packages, mention "all" and it looks like a shopping list.

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  • This seems like a reasonable position (hence upvote) – but doesn't really answer the question concerning what is considered good practice. Maybe the answer is that there is no good practice recognized in the community. The shopping list-issue seems very relevant – where to draw the line? – trmdttr May 23 '13 at 14:48
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    @trmdttr, I know it isn't an answer. I believe it is (mostly) a taste issue. Check books you like, and see what they attribute. Perhaps Knuth's and Lamport's books might give a starting point. – vonbrand May 23 '13 at 17:45

You're correct that neither license requires you to make attribution within your document. Attribution for the Apache 2.0 license is only required if you redistribute the modified code.

In the colophon I wrote for Getting Started with Ubuntu 13.04, I cited the applications, typefaces, and source of various design elements. I listed the designers of the typefaces but omitted the contributors to the various other projects/applications I used as the lists would be too lengthy. I did, however, provide URLs so the reader can find more information about those projects if they wish.

% Colophon


This book was typeset with \XeLaTeX.

The book design is based on the Tufte-\LaTeX{} document classes available at \url{http://code.google.com/p/tufte-latex/}.

The text face is Linux Libertine, designed by Philipp H. Poll.  It is an open font available at \url{http://linuxlibertine.sf.net/}.

The captions and margin notes are set in Ubuntu, a font commissioned by Canonical and designed by Dalton Maag. It is freely available for download at \url{http://font.ubuntu.com/}.

The terminal text and keystrokes are set in DejaVu Sans Mono (available at \url{http://dejavu-fonts.org/}), originally developed by Bitstream, Inc.\ as Bitstream Vera.

The cover and title page pictograms contain shapes taken from the Humanity icon set, available at \url{https://launchpad.net/humanity}.

The title page and cover were designed using Inkscape, available at \url{http://inkscape.org/}.


Most colophons are limited to discussions of the typefaces, paper, binding, and printing. I would include only that information you think your readers would be interested in. In the above example, I highlighted the various open-source projects used to create the manual.

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