[pdftex] Pale print with Adobe Reader

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sun Mar 25 13:12:58 CEST 2007

On 3/24/07, Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:

> There is absolutely no need to upgrade unless you need new features.
> Martin, I'm aware that you are involved in pdfTeX development and that
> no developer is interested in bug reports concerning ancient versions.
> But in this particular case I do not see that upgrading provides any
> advantage.

It is true that, for any individual, it TeX is working there is
usually no immediate  benefit from upgrading.  From the standpoint of
the community, however, encouraging everyone to use current versions
has long-term advantages:

1.  with more extensive testing, problems will be found.  With TeX
there have been many recent  advances that are not yet widely used.
There have also been many changes that may cause problems for legacy

2.  reduced support workload for developers -- with a bigger pool
using current versions, more people are in a position to help resolve
problems in that version.

3.  ensuring the future: for TeX Live to replace teTeX in linux
distros, it must be able to handle legacy documentation in src
packages.   It also
needs to handle documents from people who are being forced to replace
deceased commercial packages (Y&Y).

4.  for new users, there are some basic issues (such as using pdftex
exclusively in pdf output mode and providing both tex and etex
versions) that don't apply to current versions.   If you are learning
use TeX, why learn bad habits (macros checking for pdftex) that will
cause trouble when you do move to a current version?

> It happens quite often on this mailing list that people are asked to
> upgrade their system.  But why?  I do not remember even one problem
> that had been solved by a system update.

I don't think it is fair, for an open source project, to expect
significant help with old versions.   Every TeX user has some moral
obligation to contribute.

> My recommendation is to use the TeX system you have as it is.  If
> there are problems, report them here.

If you are a linux user starting out with TeX, you can either use the TeX
package in your distro or TL2007.  If you are only using TeX to format
documentation for an established project, stick with the distro.  If
you want to learn TeX so you can use it over the long run, use TL2007.

> Coming back to the original question,  does \usepackage{mathpazo}

The O.P. was using plain tex, so the answer is no.  With TL2007, xetex is
the easiest tool to support other fonts for a plain tex source
document (with the caveat that maths fonts would be a problem -- I
don't know if the O.P. needs extensive math, but perhaps not since the
CM fonts looked odd to him).

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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