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RE: [Groff] Proposal for raster graphics extensions to gpic

From: James Deri
Subject: RE: [Groff] Proposal for raster graphics extensions to gpic
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 13:44:37 -0000

> On Sun, 2002-11-17 at 20:28, Werner LEMBERG wrote:
> >  Here, I compare groff with TeX: .psbb (and the
> > not-yet-available .imagebb) is a low-level primitive which should be
> > hidden by an appropriate macro.
> I agree fully with your comparison with Tex/Latex. 
> But Tex was afaik originally meant to be usable standalone. Ditto with
> -roff.

You may be right, but I assure you "raw" is used. I have a system which
produces a run of 100,000 pages of PS output per quarter from a dynamically
generated troff file. This file contains \X'ps: image ...' statements (so I
have to pre-convert all artwork to eps beforehand). Now if I could do
\X'image: ...' = heaven! Dealing with these sort of volumes running through
pre-processors/macros adds to the runtimes.

> Macros in troff cannot be considered totally hidden.
> The concept of e.g. troff/ms only functions when the macros are so
> simple that people has a fair chance understanding and modifying them.
> The flexibility and power of troff/ms lies in the ability to 
> adjusr the
> macros for specific purposes. 

and the raw speed of its typesetting abilities.
> So there is no reason to make things more low level then absolutely
> necessary. Especially so when the low-levelness does not bring any
> advantages for the user. 

Low Level = increased performance.

> As a groff user I am concerned about the actual height/width of the
> image, yes, but Postscript internal technicalities like 
> bounding boxes I
> would very much like to not have to worry about, please.
> > ... But we should make life as simple as possible by searching
> > for a simple implementation right now.
> Yes. But including foreign libraries, for instance, tend to create
> problems with packages that are user over a large variety of 
> platforms.
> I would think it would be easier to do a stand-alone proof-of-concept
> version initially, and then do something more generic as a 
> second step.
> > ...
> > gtroff shouldn't be aware of the image at all!
> Can't say that I really agree - IMHO groff should know as 
> much about the
> images produced as other text and vector graphics.
> > > >  The device driver then calls the appropriate XXXtopnm external
> > > >  program in case it can't understand the image format natively.
> > > 
> > > But again, that should be behind the scenes of class image.
> > 
> > I don't think so.  We need to be able to control image conversion
> > somehow.
> I've had an opportunity to look behind the scenes at the 
> drivers, and I 
> agree with you. It really seems like everything that has any
> intentions of being rasterized as graphics do so via 
> postscript, so there
> is probably no need for rasterization in class image. All the better.
> Egil
> PS: Wrt. zero movement images for backgrounds, isn't that what \Z'' is
> for?
> PPS: I must say the source code for groff really is a pleasure to work
> with! Really something for the text-books, as the saying goes.
> PPPS: Trying to digest all the information, I will try to make a
> structured suggestion toward the end of the week,
> -- 
> Email: address@hidden  
> Voice/videophone: +47 22523641 Voice: +47 92022780 Fax: +47 22525899
> Mail:  Egil Kvaleberg, Husebybakken 14A, 0379 Oslo, Norway
> Home:
> _______________________________________________
> Groff maillist  -  address@hidden



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