(tds.info)Font file type location
C.2.1 Font file type location
We considered the supplier-first arrangement in use at many sites:
This improves the maintainability of the font tree, since all files
comprising a given typeface are in one place, but unless all the
programs that search this tree employ some form of caching, there are
serious performance concerns. For example, in order to find a `TFM'
file, the simplest implementation would require TeX to search through
all the directories that contain PK files in all modes and at all
In the end, a poll of developers revealed considerable resistance to
implementing sufficient caching mechanisms, so this arrangement was
abandoned. The TDS arrangement allows the search tree to be restricted
to the correct type of file, at least. Concerns about efficiency
remain, but there seems to be no more we can do without abandoning
subdirectory searching entirely.
We also considered segregating all font-related files strictly by
file type, so that Metafont sources would be in a directory
`texmf/fonts/mf', property list files in `texmf/fonts/pl', the various
forms of Type 1 fonts separated, and so on. Although more blindly
consistent, we felt that the drawback of more complicated path
constructions outweighed this. The TDS merges file types (`mf' and `pl'
under `source', `pfa' and `pfb' and `gsf' under `type1') where we felt
this was beneficial.
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