[texhax] dvi vs pdf

James Quirk jjq at galcit.caltech.edu
Fri Dec 3 17:09:23 CET 2010


On Fri, 3 Dec 2010, Victor Ivrii wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 11:27 PM, Reinhard Kotucha
> <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:
> > Instead of archiving .dvi files it's better to archive the .tex
> > sources.  Then you can adapt the \specials at least, if necessary.
> > In other words: If you insist on DVI, you have to archive all the
> > required resources (fonts, graphics, post processors,...) too.
> >
> Let look at current decision made by arXiv: they always want source
> and default postprocessing used to be ps and now pdf.
> The other thing: AFAIK dvi format does not evolve, pdf does. And
> expands at the expense of ps and djvu. I do not remember the format it
> won the first battle with
Talking of evolution, it is worth noting that PDF has already reached the 
point where one could add a dvi renderer to a PDF, courtesy of the 
built-in FlashPlayer engine. And as you brought up arXiv, you might care 
to read Ginsparg's contribution in "The Fourth Paradigm" see:
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/fourthparadigm/ in which 
he writes "PDF will not provide a convenient transport format" when 
talking of the next generation of "scholarly communication".

Interestingly, PDF has already evolved to the point where Ginsparg's 
assertion can be refuted with concrete PDF documents. Because the same 
built-in FlashPlayer can be used to construct custom XML renderers for the 
data-intensive applications discussed in The Fourth Paradigm. Although
it does have to be noted that when pushed in that direction PDF is sadly 
no longer portable; witness the November 30th release of Linux AR9.4.1 
where the JS/SWF communication bridge is crippled.


> Victor

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