2011-07-22 The snapshot and bundledoc packages (en)

Situation A: you work on a LaTeX document with a friend, and suddenly your pdf and his pdf—made from the same LaTeX file—look different. What’s going on?

Situation B: you send a LaTeX file to someone, and then you get an angry message: it won’t compile!

Well, in these situations snapshot and bundledoc packages might help you. The former generates a file with a listing of all loaded packages (and other files, for example the .bib file etc.) together with their version information (whenever available). Then you and your friend from Situation A may diff these files and track all the differences in package versions you are using.

The latter is a postprocessor of the file generated by the former. It helps prepare an archive with all the files needed for this particular LaTeX document to compile. It also includes a script to generate this archive in LaTeX format, using the smart and not really well-known filecontents environment. Such a LaTeX file generates all needed (text) files by itself during the first compilation.

For the sake of completeness: the author of snapshot is the late Michael Downes, and the author of bundledoc is Scott Pakin (known also for the Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List, the savetrees package and lots of other stuff).

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