[pdftex] FYI: Feature Requests for Adobe Reader

Victor Ivrii vivrii at gmail.com
Tue Apr 8 03:17:22 CEST 2008

On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 8:07 PM, James Quirk <jjq at galcit.caltech.edu> wrote:

>  http://www.peterelst.com/blog/2007/10/03/adobe-max-chicago-sneak-peeks/
>  you will see that AR9 will provide native support for dragging swf's
>  across a PDF document. Thus in addition to having a movable, static image
>  as in your application, it will be possible to have dynamic graphics,
>  produced by inline simulations. The rammification for the computational
>  science community is enormous. But as Victor alluded to in one of his
>  messages, it will likely be some time before today's traditional
>  journals take advantage of the technological possibilities.

I am not sure that traditional journals would ever take advantage of
this. The model of traditional printed journal is very different from
one of e-journal  I clearly prefer the latter one:

Printed journal tries to maintain consistent volume with no regard to
supply of good quality articles submitted. e-journal is much more
flexible. Printed journals are articles binded together and tries to
maintain a consistent appearance of articles in the journal no matter
who authors are. As an author I prefer to maintain a consistent
appearance of my articles no matter in what journal they are
published. I suspect that traditional journals are too closely
connected to printing press and paper to evolve. Like dinosaurs did
not evolve into mammals. Note that today math. journals do not look
different from those published 50 ya (even if technology changed).The
publishers probably would resist to make electronic versions  so
vastly superior that printed versions would be of interest to no one.

However already e-versions began to deviate (consider very different
models of subscriptions for printed [you buy one copy of the  journal
forever] and electronic [you buy the right to read/download an
unlimited number of copies of of during time of subscription; as long
you subscribe all the issues for the last fiew years are yours]).

I hope that editorial boards as representative of scientific community
would have upper hand over publishers who would become  hired
TeXnicians rather than dictators.

>  Now if you're not a fan of swf's, ponder the following.

Does not really matter for many users as long as pdftex can generate
everything (subpoenaing pdf2swf or whatever) can produce the whole

> Adobe are already
>  able to run a luatex interpreter using swf's virutal machine, using a C to
>  ActionScript cross-compiler, and pdftex is written in C and is migrating
>  to using luatex. Thus in principle one could imagine running TeX directly
>  inside of a PDF document. Yes, I'm aware of all the niggly details that
>  would need to be sorted out, to allow this to happen. But conceptually,
>  all the pieces are falling into place. And as a half-way house, it would
>  not be too difficult to get a subset of MetaPost up an running, which
>  would be useful in its own right.

>  Just a thought, or two.
>  James

Victor Ivrii, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

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