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Philip Taylor writes:
 > If there are only TFM files in the tree, then VMS will be as efficient
 > as any other system in locating a particular file; if the tree has
it depends how well it caches, actually. does the search speed up
after one traversal?

 > this area for which I was seeking clarification: is TDS defined in
 > such a way that there is a TFM tree, a TEX/LaTeX tree, and so on,

um, have you _read_ your copy of the TDS?

yes, the tds says you will see

  fonts/tfm/<supplier>/<family>/<name>
  tex/<format>/<package>/<file>

seems straightforward enough

where there is a problem is if you search
  tex/....
instead of
  tex/<format>/...
possibly.

sebastian