[pdftex] SVG Graphics

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Sat Jun 11 19:17:37 CEST 2011

John Culleton <john at wexfordpress.com> wrote:

> Getting back to the original topic, we can already insert graphics in a
> variety of formats. But two of the most useful formats, svg (vector) and
> TIFF (bitmap) are not included. Is it more difficult to handle these than
> to handle eps and jpg?

pdftex handles pdf inclusions, and png and jpg.  jpg is obviously a
start with the myriad formats that tiff encapsulates, but (last i
looked) png isn't.  basically, tiff _could_ include any bitmap format,
so allowing it (unrestricted) is inevitably a heavy load.  (note that
gif was a common format when the pdftex project first started, but it
was rejected on the grounds that (a) it's an inferior format, and (b) at
the time a licence was required before you could generate gif.)

original (pre-)pdftex claimed it was able to read tiff graphics.  the
ability was withdrawn after complaints about its many failures.  i'm
involved with the project, but i assumed the complaints were about tiffs
with weird formats embedded.

i don't know anything about svg, beyond the fact that it's a vector
graphics format.  i presume there's a library to convert it to pdf, as
would be needed if pdftex is going to include it.  so apart from the
fact that pdftex is frozen...

> Color and hyperlinks have been available in pdftex for many years. Their
> inclusion is not IMO a weakness but a necessary modernization.

colour use is a big deal, but as you rightly say it has been there since
the beginning.

hyperlinks are a comparably big deal, and covering all possible cases
has led to a frighteningly huge bunch of macros.

there _is_ a school of thought that claims that anything beyond what
knuth provided is anathema.  some of your remarks lead one to imagine
that you're in that camp, so perhaps that suggestion was in the light of
a mistaken perception.


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