gabriel rosenkoetter on Thu, 11 Oct 2001 18:00:12 +0200

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Re: [PLUG] Postscript, Ghostscript, and pdf

On Thu, Oct 11, 2001 at 11:05:25AM -0400, Leonard Rosenthol wrote:
> 	Just make sure you have a version of Ghostscript >= 6.0, 
> since the 5.x series generated REALLY S**TTY PDF!

grappa:~% pkg_info ghostscript
Information for ghostscript-6.01:

Aladdin Postscript interpreter with X11 drivers


Required by:

Guess I do. :^>

I remember being shocked at how well ps2pdf worked when I used it
last, but I thought it was just because I'd never tried it before.
I think latex -> dvips -> ps2pdf now produces better output than
latex -> dvipdfm, but I haven't compared very closely just yet (nor
tried wacky page layout formats like slides).

> 	Given that Postscript was popularized on the Mac OS BEFORE it 
> hit the Unix world (courtesy of the Apple LaserWriter and PageMaker), 
> AND that to this day you get MUCH better quality PS from Mac OS OR 
> Windows (modulo the MS driver in Win9x, that's seems like a silly 
> statement.

Now, slow down a minute and think about what I was saying. There is
no piece of user-interfaceable that works directly with Postscript
within Mac OS or Windows. Which, imho, is totally ridiculous since
any printer worth its toner speaks Postscript.

Moreover, I don't even really want to view the file. I want to be
able to print it. The fact that I can't drag a Postscript file onto
Mac OS's desktop printer and have it come out of the printer is
totally ridiculous considering all I'm trying to do is give the
printer precisely what it wants.

And let's remember the fact that Postscript is really just g[l]orified
html (in the same way that TeX is glorified html; yes, I'm aware
that both predate html, I'm speaking to what the average populace
will have learned first). It's really not that hard to read and
write as a human, it's just not so hot as a composition format.
But if I want to tweak the margins, adding a couple Postscript
commands is far more obvious than clicking a bunch of arcanely
labeled buttons. Imho, I guess.

> 	PS can certainly be used as an on-disk format, but it's not 
> useful for anything other than printing - since that's what it is 
> for!  Postscript is a PRINTER DESCRIPTION LANGUAGE - it was designed 
> for sending to a printer to final output.

Sure. Swell. Then why can't I print from Postscript on a Mac or
Windows machine without installing third-party software?

> It's use on screen, and weird things like Display Postscript (DPS)
> were hacks, more so than anything else.

Well. I'm rather affectionate of Display Postscript being as I have
a pare of NeXT cubes, but I don't care to speak for or against its
state as a hack.

> 	Mac OS X takes the right approach, which is to use PDF as the 
> native metafile format, including on-screen print preview.

Well, where the right approach is defined as continuing to kowtow
to Adobe, I suppose. :^>

       ~ g r @

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