I've written a small GUI program to ease the creation of LaTeX style tables (both tabular and longtable) for my students.

I'm wondering if it is useful to upload it to CTAN. It is free software; however it seems to me the best to not only upload the sources but binaries, at least for Linux and Windows, too.

My questions are:

  • Is it useful to upload non-TeX programs to CTAN?
  • If so, how do I do this?
  • What do I need to include?

Unfortunately, the CTAN upload page is down ATM, so I can't look for any hints there.

  • There are other non-TeX programs on CTAN, such as Latable. You could see which files is uploaded for that. – Torbjørn T. Dec 31 '12 at 15:41
  • There seem to be no problems uploading binaries. See e.g. eps2pdf for Windows. – Alan Munn Dec 31 '12 at 15:42
  • @HarishKumar The issue is not about gaming the upload system (which is a bad idea.) The question is whether it's acceptable to post binaries to CTAN, and it is. So you would put the binary, documentation, README etc. all in one .zip file and upload that. – Alan Munn Dec 31 '12 at 16:51
  • @AlanMunn: May be I misunderstood. I was under the impression that .exe files won't be allowed. :-( – user11232 Dec 31 '12 at 16:53
  • 3
    @Michael Yes. The packaging is really up to you for this sort of thing; there's no defined standard. But you should zip all three into a single upload to CTAN, not have three separate ones. So I would put common documentation/README and then a Windows and Linux version, plus the source. You could put each of those in separate directories, for example. – Alan Munn Dec 31 '12 at 17:38

So that this question gets an answer, here's a summary of the comments. To answer your specific questions:

It's perfectly fine to put non-TeX but TeX-related software on CTAN. This sort of thing is found in the support directory of CTAN.

It is also quite fine to upload compiled binaries to CTAN, as evidenced by the existing binaries in the support directory.

As for what you should include, it would make sense to have separate directories containing the Windows and Linux binaries, and the source, along with a single README file and/or the software documentation.

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  • the ctan upload mechanism has been switched on again. it works in tests... – wasteofspace Jan 1 '13 at 17:01

As @AlanMunn says, there is no reason not to upload binaries -- indeed I would say it's a kindness to those who aren't particularly fluent with compiling things.

The other things Alan says are good, too.

However, we (CTAN) like to have a well-documented licence statement for anything on CTAN; this is pretty difficult unless you provide source. (it seems you're intending to do that, anyway, but it should be on record.) Of course, TeX Live won't accept the thing without its source, since they would need to compile for lots of platforms other than Linux and Widnoze.

So, I would say: go ahead. If something turns up with what you've uploaded, we can discuss it then (and possibly edit this answer afterwards...).

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