[pdftex] SVG Graphics

Kip Warner kip at thevertigo.com
Fri Jun 10 05:43:27 CEST 2011

On Fri, 2011-06-10 at 13:08 +1000, Ross Moore wrote:
> Hello Kip,

Hey Ross.

> But why should syntax be required only for special cases,
> rather than for all cases, in a unified way? 

It could be required in all cases, just not having to specify additional
details for special cases when one wants to do something unusual with
the image colours or some such. Unspecified parameters can resort to
default values that most common users implicitly had intended. That's

> But manuals written in Info style is precisely the reason TeXinfo
> exists at all. It was not designed to be an all-purpose document-writing 
> system. That is what LaTeX is for, and ConTeXt.

You may well be right, and I am not arguing with you on that, because as
I learn more and more about Texinfo, that would indeed seem to be the
case. The reason why I had thought otherwise was because of the manual
on p.3, Overview of Texinfo, 1.2 Using Texinfo. It makes it sound as
though it can be used for any supported backend, only having to write
one source file.

> What is it that you are really trying to achieve?

I am trying to write a handbook for contributors to a free software
project that includes images. Eventually, I may want to do other things
like add special artwork in the page margins, use a custom font, and so
on. All of these things presumably will prove to be headaches with

> And why is it that you are using TeXinfo for it?

Because the FSF recommended it for writing books. =(

> What is so special about SVG, among all possible graphics formats?

It's the international standard for scalable vector graphics. PDF does
similar things, but it is intended more for documents.

> PostScript is much more powerful, but the best way to support it
> has been through the separate processor provided by Ghostscript.
> PDF is the natural derivative from PostScript, and its text-handling
> capabilities form the basis (and target format) for pdfTeX, with
> self-standing separate images able to be included and manipulated
> (rotation, scaling etc.) with minimal fuss.

Yes, but most programs that work with images don't export to PDF, they
export to standard image formats like SVG. PDF is intended more for a
document format.

> If the gain was really much more than this, then why hasn't anyone come 
> forward to propose it and provide the impetus for such development? 
> That's the way free software has always worked, in my experience.

I think because most people give up trying to learn Texinfo before they
get to that point and revert to something like ODT. If you look at the
users on this list, most of them seem to be academics.

> Hope this helps,
> 	Ross

Thanks Ross.

Kip Warner -- Software Engineer
OpenPGP encrypted/signed mail preferred
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 198 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part
URL: <http://tug.org/pipermail/pdftex/attachments/20110609/2eda3b74/attachment.bin>

More information about the pdftex mailing list