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AFRIK-IT  February 1999

AFRIK-IT February 1999

Subject:

Re: reading PDF files

From:

Dr Eberhard W Lisse <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 15 Feb 1999 19:38:46 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (111 lines)

Christopher,

you were probably eagerly awaiting this :-)-O

In message <[log in to unmask]>, Christopher Byrne writes:

> I had wanted to comment on this string before, but only now have the
> moment.  The first thing is that we should not necessarily dismiss
> "proprietary" as evil in itself.  As much as I dislike Microsoft,
> the vast majority of people and organizations I deal with both with
> the IDN and my full-time employment use Microsoft Word.  But there
> are outliers.

Who ever said that proprietary is evil?

Microsnot is evil!

Linux rulz! :-)-O


> When the IDN started its daily newsletter, I had wanted to do it in
> PDF so that I could format it the way I wanted.  However, while some
> subscribers preferred PDF, others wanted it in Word, others wanted
> it in WordPerfect, and still others wanted it in Rich Text.  Not
> only was it labor intensive, but all links had to be recreated once
> the document was printed to the PDF Driver.

You see, this is why the Africans on the list would advise the
northern Consultants to use SGML which producees RTF, HTML,
DVI/PS/PDF. You can even run it on an operating system which doesn't
crash such as linux with KDE and use Klyx as the WYSIWYG editor to
save in SGML and then translate.

Word and WordPerfect users all can read RTF.


> The compromise?  It is now done in HTML Format, which makes it difficult
> to include graphics and other objects (without adding extra files to the
> message and instructing them on what to do with the files), but I know
> that everyone can read it.

That's, yet again (Joris are you there :-)-O?), simple, make URL's
relative to the file's directory and ZIP all of it. Extracted it will
show the graphics.

> When I post documents to web sites (and one rule of thumb is NEVER,
> NEVER send a file as an attachment or risk the wrath of those who did
> not want it and are paying by the minute for connect time), is that they
> are made available in 3 formats:  The original (whether it be Word or
> WordPerfect), PDF, and Rich text.

The devil is in the detail, as you know, Microsnot changes its specs
as soon as soneone wrote a package that depends on them. RTF is a very
good example, It's often quite difficult to read RTF documents done by
Word 6 or so.


> Finally, don't assume everyone should have the Acrobat reader.
> Until ISPs start providing it as part of their start-up packages,
> most people will not spend the time required to download and install
> it.

        el:~  ls /cdrom/RedHat/RPMS/*pdf* -s
        305 /cdrom/RedHat/RPMS/xpdf-0.7a-1.i386.rpm

which (for the linux illiterates) translates to on the 1.99$US
Cheapbytes CD with RedHat 5.2 there is xpdf which reads *.pdf rather
well.

> Acrobat may be proprietary, but it has become a de facto standard
> because like Photoshop, there are not a whole lot of products that can
> touch it (especially for Graphic Artists who would cut off their arms
> and legs faster than they would use anything but Photoshop or a Mac).

That's because they have never tried the GIMP!

For the price of a decent Mac and Photoshop you can get two or three
decent *86s with linux and the GIMP.


> p.s. To the Good Doctor and other Linux fans:  Lotus Corporation has
> announced the Notes 5.0 will ship a Linux version.

I read that, but they will unfortunately charge something like 5000$US
or so :-(-O.

>> while the word format is proprietary, it may be manipulated by non-
>> microsoft software, including those available under GPL. for
>> example, LAOLA
>> [http://wwwwbs.cs.tu-berlin.de/~schwartz/pmh/laola.html]. also
>> check, The Filters Project [http://arturo.directmail.org/filters/].

Unfortunately they are not easy.

I like currently ted, (http://www.nllgg.nl/Ted) which is a smallish
little WYSIWYG editor that can read RTF and and save RTF/Text/HTML.


>> it would not be out of place to mention that both PDF and PS are
>> trademarks of Adobe. so as such they are proprietary formats. since
>> the postscript form at has become widespread, it is often seen as
>> "non- proprietary".

That is quite correct. Which is why we, who do not want to pay for
proprietary formats, use ghostscript.

el


ps: I feel much better now :-)-O

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