[tex-live] Re: tex-live Digest, Vol 8, Issue 45

George White aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Fri Sep 26 10:09:29 CEST 2003

Quoting tex-live-request at tug.org:

> On 2003-09-25 22:59:06 +0100, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> > I think a good project for someone next year is to specify the REAL
> > minimum TeX toolkit for the person who does not have any historical
> > associations. So no dvi support at all, no metafont, no Computer Modern
> > at all (latin modern instead), etc. pdfetex only. no omega (sorry, guys,
> > until its stable and does PDF....). metapost, OK. bibtex, ok. no ps
> > utilities. 
> A real minimal pdfeTeX live? Sounds nice and should be doable on
> a credit card. :-)
> From: Fabrice Popineau <Fabrice.Popineau at supelec.fr>
> > I think a good project for someone next year is to specify the REAL
> > [...]
> This is one of the ideas of our xemtex project. Anybody clever ideas in
> this area welcome.
> From: Hans Hagen <pragma at wxs.nl>
> >I think a good project for someone next year is to specify the REAL
> > [...]
> for context this is some 50 MEG (fonts take up space -); i have a batch 
> file that generates subset of tex live (so that i can make small snapshots 
> with updated contexts and keep them in archives); the coming year i'll put 
> it somewhere for 'external' users to pick up and play with so i expect that 
> for the next tex live i can provide you with the scripts to 'collect' what 
> is needed for context (+plain). Only pdf (i have dvips on it just for the 
> sake of generating outlines using pstoedit). [dvi is still needed for cjk 
> users who want to use dvipdfmx, but that's only one extra binary)

It is certainly time to abandon dvi and get on with other things like XML, 
i18n, and getting the bugs out of 3rd party tools (gs, the xpdf
toolkit, etc.) to make pdf do everything we need.  For a long time people
have seen TeX as operating outside the realm of mainstream document processing.
People with a strong background in PDF workflows find dvips rather quaint, 
although they like the way TeX lays out a page.  And, for a group that depends
on very limited resources, it is important that TeX Live efforts leverage
"mainstream" tools and formats (fonts, PDF, XML, ...).

Hans: Can you generate outlines using a pdf-->ps tool?  In principle you can
get outlines directly from PDF using "gs -dNOCACHE" and the epswrite 
device.  In the past there were bugs in gs pdf support, but now that my
list of long-standing gs bugs (how many new bugs have been
introduced in recent versions?) is down to handling gradient fills from 
OpenOffice.org, it is time to revisit tasks that involve dvips.  This
isn't just so we can take "dvi" out of TeX Live 2003, it is because dvips
is resolution dependent and the workarounds aren't always adequate (e.g.,
when you need extreme scaling).

George White, travelling 

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