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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
David Carlisle <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 10:29:30 GMT
<v03110708b29b079d82fd@[]> (message from Hans Aberg on Mon, 14 Dec 1998 19:27:52 +0100)
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (43 lines)
> >Is it any more (or less) commercial than PostScript?

> I recall that these are made by the same company, so they probably sport
> the same problems.

> As an example of the problems that may arise is the story of Display
> PostScript, which companies such as Apple decided to not use, because they
> felt Adobe was overcharging the license fees.

You appear to be (deliberately?) confusing two things. The pdf or
postscript _languages_ and particular implementations of _interpreters_
for those languages.

Adobe, who produced both PostScript and PDF use exactly the same model
for both. The language definition is copyright adobe, but fully
published, and anyone is free to implement them. On the other hand
Adobe make particular implementations of interpreters for the languages
which they sell. In the case of postscript they don't sell direct but
the license the technology to printer manufacturers etc.

However ghostscript is an example of a free renderer for poth postscript
and pdf. (and there are others). The fee for DPS that you mentioned is
not a fee to use DPS the language, but a fee to use adobe's
implementation. There was, perhaps still is, a plan to make a free DPS
based on ghostscript as part of a gnu openstep clone.

If you criticise pdftex on the grounds that pdf is `commercial'
then you should make exactly the same objection about dvips.

> However, my main point was that since pdftex is a single monolithic program,
> every additional graphics format -- PDF, PS, TIFF, etc --
> must involve further modification to pdfTeX itself.

True but in general the pressure has not to include more and more
xxx-to-yyy converters into pdftex, but to include those formats which
are essentially native to pdf (such as pdf itself, and a subset of