[tex-live] tex live 2009 pretests

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sun Jul 5 15:54:56 CEST 2009

On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 9:05 AM, Robin
Fairbairns<Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> Daniel Becker <daniel.becker at uni-rostock.de> wrote:
>> could someone explain how this thing with epstopdf is implemented?
>> What's the difference to the inclusion of
>> \usepackage{ifpdf}
>> \ifpdf
>> \usepackage{epstopdf}
>> \else
>> \fi
>> in the preamble of a LaTeX-Document? I'm asking because I might need
>> to adjust http://tug.ctan.org/pkg/epspdfconversion (a modified package
>> epstopdf that uses epspdf as the conversion script, not epstopdf).
> strangely enough, i was thinking about this issue in the faq context,
> this morning.
> if someone on this list has a list of pros and cons, i would be
> delighted to work it up into an answer that i could publish in the faq.

Pro: some legacy documents can be used to make .pdf's simply by
running pdf(la)tex.

Con:  some existing workflows may break

There are many reasons a PDF figure may not be equivalent to the EPS
version.   Previously, running "latex doc" and "pdflatex doc" without changes
to the source doc.tex would produce doc.dvi referencing figure.eps and doc.pdf
using figure.pdf.

Some documents are formatted to produce both .dvi and .pdf output, with
figure.eps and figure.pdf sitting side-by-side.   In some cases, .dvi
may be used
for quicker viewing, but the original figure was in PDF and was converted to a
low-quality bitmap for fast screen viewing.   The PDF may use CMYK and
the EPS RGB, etc.   Note that comparing timestamps of .eps and .pdf
isn't reliable as pdftex can't know if the .pdf was created from an older
version of the .eps or the .eps was created from a current .pdf.

Con: troubleshooting could be more difficult

Many files with .eps extension do not meet the definition of EPS.  Some
well-known graphics packages generate .eps files with invalid postscript, so
manual intervention (e.g., using a drawing package to clean up the mess)
is needed.

There are legacy workflows that produce good eps files and will benefit
from having the automated conversion, but automatic conversion may
make it more difficult to recognize problems caused by a  bad EPS figure.

Con: enabling write18 has risks

These days linux users may run pdftex as "root", e.g., formatting
documentation when
installing 3rd party software: "sudo make check install".

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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