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Robin Fairbairns <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 7 Dec 1998 16:57:07 +0000
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someone at y&y wrote:

> At 10:13 AM 98/12/06 , tim murphy wrote:
> >Ps If xdvi worked as advertised it would itself be a TeX browser.
> Maybe this is something that merits more discussion.  DVIWindo
> can be launched when a browser hits a DVI file.

xdvi can be launched when a browser hits a dvi file (we do it here).

> It also supports
> hyper-text linkage,

so does xdvi, i'm told (i've never used that facility).  note that the
linkage specials are almost certainly different...

> including the ability to launch applications to
> deal with included file references to say PDF, HTML, TIFF files etc.
> (although it can also display TIFF directly).

you beat xdvi there, though it does cope with most .eps inclusions
quite well.

> And since DVI files are
> compact it is very fast.

xdvi's quite nippy too.

> But there are obstacles to making this sort of thing a reasonable alternative.
> One is that the DVI files are compact in part because they do not include
> fonts, so this works only if everyone has the fonts that are used.
> That probably means using CM fonts for everything.

the same problem applies, of course.  this is the real killer for dvi
distribution: as tim murphy says, fonts _could_ be retrieved on
demand, but i imagine one wouldn't ordinarily want to do that for
anything but free fonts.

> Included figures
> are an obstacle since these are not included in the DVI file, so would
> have to be fetched in a separate interaction.  And different DVI previewer
> support very different collections of graphics (TIFF, BMP, GIF, JPEG, PICT,
> WMF, EPS, EPSI, TPIC, EEPIC, etc. etc.).  And unless several `DVI browsers'
> support the some basic set of features (which may have big differences
> in implementation costs on different platforms), there won't be much of
> an incentive for people to use this as a medium for document distribution.

in short, nice format, shame about the lack of portability (for
anything remotely non-trivial).