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Re: [Groff] Three topics related to images

From: Ted Harding
Subject: Re: [Groff] Three topics related to images
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2014 10:17:45 +0100 (BST)

Brief comment (see inloine)

On 21-Jun-2014 00:57:26 Peter Schaffter wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 20, 2014, Tadziu Hoffmann wrote:
>> >   - provides sensible float handling
>> >   - can be captioned and labelled
>> Wouldn't it be useful to split off that functionality into
>> a separate float handler, to have available also for tables
>> and pic diagrams, and provide a bare-bones PDF image includer
>> à la PSPIC instead?
> PDF_IMAGE was originally implemented that way, but over time, the
> advantages of treating images as floats, rather than requiring users
> to insert them into floats (which functionality is fully implemented
> separately, BTW), far outweighed whatever advantages I imagined
> would accrue from treating them as non-floated elements.  Simply
> put, when would you *not* want images inserted into a document
> deferred to the next page when they don't fit on the current one?

When it is important, for clear or easy understanding, to have the
image on the same page as text that refers to it! This is of course
particularly relevant in technical or scientific documents, but can
also arise elsewhere -- for example, the image may be a photograph
of a landscape, and the text refers to objects in the image. One
does not want to be constantly flipping back and forth between
text and image.

Often, when one is creating the document oneself, this may mean
re-writing or re-structuring the text; one then has control over
how the reader will perceive one's document. But when one is making
a groff version of a document written by someone else then of course
there is no scope for re-writing! But them I think that Peter's
issue would not arise.


>> > It would be exceptionally nice if groff natively handled
>> > images in formats other than ps and pdf, but I don't think
>> > that's going to happen any time soon.  For now, it's .ps,
>> > or .pdf, or nothing.  Not a huge issue with 'convert'.
>> True.  For vector graphics, there really isn't much choice --
>> you have PS/PDF and SVG (and some not-so-often used formats
>> such as HPGL and CGM and various CAD formats), so you
>> just stick to the most common and support that.  For raster
>> graphics there's quite a large number of commonly used formats
>> (GIF, PNG, JPEG, PBM/PGM/PPM, TIFF, BMP, ...) and it seems
>> rather ambitious to support them all.  I'd probably vote for
>> keeping groff small and doing the conversion with specialized
>> external programs instead.  Performing conversions on-the-fly
>> by repeatedly calling external programs while running groff
>> strikes me as wasteful, since I'd be formatting a document
>> quite a number of times while writing it, and I'd probably
>> be too impatient to wait the extra few seconds...
> Completely agree.  That "it would be nice" doesn't mean "it would be
> practical". :)
> -- 
> Peter Schaffter

E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Date: 21-Jun-2014  Time: 10:17:42
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