Today I clicked in this link in TeX StackExchange http://ctan.org/pkg/svg and I got this message (screenshot below).

In particular, what does it mean that "Latex Productions International has acquired the world wide exclusive rights from D.F.Knuth" !?

Obviously ctan.org changed hands or something, what happened to ctan.org? what would be a good link to use for TeX packages?


  • 45
    Just check the date:)
    – yannisl
    Apr 1, 2016 at 3:57
  • 7
    Did you note the name, "Donald F Knuth"?
    – Masroor
    Apr 1, 2016 at 4:09
  • 11
    The character means "insanity". So there's a bit of clue to the joke. Nice job, whoever wrote this up!
    – A.Ellett
    Apr 1, 2016 at 4:21
  • 4
    It seems barbara had a hand in writing some, but not all, of the sentences. Either that, or some parts of the message are "official statements" and others are not. :-) Apr 1, 2016 at 5:00
  • 5
    using Comic Sans would have make the joke more obvious!
    – ebosi
    Apr 1, 2016 at 13:09

4 Answers 4


It's currently Friday, April 1 in Europe. Happy April Fools' Day!

(Just in case you didn't know, April 1st is a traditional day for people to play pranks on each other.)

  • 1
    Also note that all links from the popup lead to unregistered domains. :-) Apr 1, 2016 at 5:08
  • I was fooled as well by the popup, at the beginning!! :D AhAhAh!! ;D Nice joke!! :)
    – rmbianchi
    Apr 1, 2016 at 9:48
  • In many countries the day of the practical jokes (if there are one) is not April 1. Probably this day many people believed that CTAN was the last hacked site as some weeks ago happened with Linux Mint.
    – Fran
    Apr 5, 2016 at 21:06

Our webmaster Gerd Neugebauer invented this joke. He did a great job!

Manfred Lotz -- CTAN team

  • 2
    Really! Congratulations to Gerd!
    – egreg
    Apr 1, 2016 at 22:07

It's April Fools' Day.

The Chinese character 疯 actually means "crazy", "mad" or "insane".


It caught me, I was livid and afraid to click onto anything, restarted all the usual things a couple of times. Good joke and nice to be caught out on April Fools! :) I got caught out by the 'Apple buys iFixit' joke a couple of years ago.

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