[pdftex] SVG Graphics

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 12:02:05 CEST 2011

On Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 3:57 PM, Kip Warner <kip at thevertigo.com> wrote:

> On Fri, 2011-06-10 at 15:34 -0300, George N. White III wrote:
>> Can't say without more information.    How much do you care about
>> legacy platforms?   Would the documents be useful without graphics?
>> I gather you want users of your package to be able to build the
>> software and the documentation -- is that correct?
> Hey George. Here is a summary:
> - Fine with any platform that has access to a package manager, like
> Ubuntu and Debian. In other words, if it is available on apt, it's a
> candidate.

texlive 2009 should be available on newer releases, but some might
only offer tetex with older pdftex and limited set of packages.

> - Document would not be useful without graphics.

I take this to mean you have no need for a plain text version (.info files)?

> - Source format of document should be diff friendly, which is one of the
> reasons why I am using Texinfo and not a binary or machine friendly only
> format like ODT. Another advantage of the source being in a flat text
> format is the build system can dynamically update variables as need be.
> - Should be able to build with the rest of the software when it runs
> through a makefile as part of the build system.
> - Would like to customize pages with artwork in page margins, custom
> fonts, page colours, etc.

Sounds like a job for ConTeXt, except that the distro packaging is not
yet there.
That leaves latex.

> - Hopefully not a massive amount of work to migrate from the Texinfo
> source I have come up with to the replacement format.

texinfo to latex should not be a huge job.

> - A GUI is nice icing on the cake, but not required.
>> If you have not done so, you should look at examples from ConTeXt
>> (maximum flexibility, least likely to be "working" on a randomly selected
>> box) and the R project.  Can you think of existing widely available books
>> that come close your "ideal"?  Tell us what you would change about the
>> existing examples.
> Can't think of anything off the top of my head, but maybe a typical game
> strategy guide. It's as far as possible from black on white generic
> textbook look, with everything that can be customized is customized.

What you describe is very far from the typical latex document -- even further
from texinfo.

Color and hyperlinks are not part of the original tex design, so support for
such elements is a weakness in latex. There have been efforts to develop
newer markup languages, but with latex you get something reliable.  Is it
better to fight to overcome  the limitations of latex or to overcome the bugs
in a newer markup language?

Perhaps someone else can suggest existing examples based on latex.

You should probably try mocking up some sample pages using latex.

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

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