Thanks for the suggestion @HanOostdijk . I've been staring at the Quarto docs for a while and just realized that my question should have been more carefully expressed to query about the configurability of a Quarto project, rather than the specifics of publishing to Quarto.pub. But, so it goes with reading documentation. Anyway, I appreciate the suggestion. (short answer in tl;dr)
So, to restate/clarify/document...
This question arose because I am customizing a subdirectory for executable scripts in ./scripts . And then trying to quarto publish a single rendered script from within that subdir, via the Terminal command:
quarto publish quarto-pub scripts/my-special-script.qmd
In short, this doesn't work with a single .qmd script located within a subdirectory when the output-dir is also identified in the _quarto.yml. But if I remove the requirement of publishing to Quarto.pub, then the I can render my project and tackle publishing differently (e.g. GitHub Actions or Netlify)
Nonethless, I now realize that my goal was not reflected very well in my initial question. Hopefully the following might help another... I want to know whether Quarto projects can be customized with executable scripts in one subdirectory, and output scripts in another. )
The answer, from the project options page, is to set the project
type to default in _quarto.yaml as follows:
In other words, in this case, do not start a quarto project as either a book or a website. Because those project types, while very convenient for publishing to Quarto-pub, do not allow the customizations I need for file-organization. Customizations imposed by spec, elsehwere.
(The problem with setting the project type to book or website is that the initial scripts must be in the quarto project root -- even while it's possible to render other scripts from subdirectories. This is fine, but the reproducibility practice, which I must follow, prefers different assumptions. Meanwhile, publishing to Quarto.pub is not my necessary end results. Therefore book and website project
types rendered my file organizational requirements inoperable.)
tl;dr my question didn't express my problem accurately. Setting the Quarto project
type to default in
_quarto.yaml solves my issue. Quarto.pub is very cool and convenient. In this case, I need more flexibility than type = book or type = website allow. It would be nice to have the ability to identify the project out-dir from an argument in the
quarto publish quarto-pub terminal command.