I think you are mixing things called tar-balls (when referring to multiple folders), with regular installation packages (files ending in
.deb on Debian/Ubuntu and in
.rpm on Red Hat/Fedora/SuSE).
The former is "only" a, often compressed, directory structure with some instruction (in the form of scripts, Makefiles, configuration files) to get the files installed to the right directories on your system after unpacking. This has the disadvantage that it is often difficult to reverse such an installation.
Installation packages (
.rpm) have, broadly speaking, additional information on where what files are installed, so they can be deinstalled (there are also post- an pre-install and deinstall scripts for additional actions etc.).
The packagings can proceed directly from source, but is often based on the "more primitive" tar balls. There are often similarities that for a large subset of packages in one form, they can be converted to the other using the program