[pdftex] PDF 1.5 by default in TL 2010

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Tue Jan 12 09:33:07 CET 2010

On 11-1-2010 23:21, Karl Berry wrote:
>      (i see no sign that dvipdfm is being developed, either.
> dvipdfm has not been significantly developed for years.
> That is why we replaced it with a link to dvipdfmx in TL'09.
>      perhaps dvipdfmx.
> dvipdfmx is being very actively developed.
> I am not aware that creating the specialized PDF formats is on anybody's
> horizon, however.

If someone uses no pdfobj, pdfannot, object compressions etc etc then 
the output of pdftex (nd luatex) is quite simple. The problem with 
'compatibility with standards' arrises when one starts doing more 
complex things. It's not the engine but the macropackage that needs to 
control it. Specialized boils down to 'using less \pdf trickery.

I could for instance provide an option in context to *not* support 
certain features but somehow i never felt the need for that and i don't 
need it myself as i never got complaints from printers. Occasionally I 
run acrobat professional preflights (and if needed acrobat can convert 
to a lesser standard). If there are probolems it's normally not with the 
tex produced code but with included graphics and those are out of tex's 
control. For that some sanitizing process has to be used anyway.

I'm pretty sure that if one does not use rgb, shading, transparency, and 
annotations, documents produced by pdftex are quite ok. Adding some "I'm 
an okay pdf" fla in the resulting file is no big deal but might as well 
result in the developers being nagged with non conforming pdf files that 
in fact are the result of users (maybe unnoticed) using \pdfwhatever 
trickery. As said .. it's a macro package + user issue.

If a printer then (as mentioned in some mail) decides to create bitmaps 
and print those, and if it would look suboptimal, i'd go to another 


                                           Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
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