[pstricks] Pstricks and pdftex

Sebastian Rahtz sebastian.rahtz at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Sun Sep 29 17:14:36 CEST 2002

On Sun, 29 Sep 2002 10:18:56 -0400
John Culleton <john at wexfordpress.com> wrote:

> Pdftex and Context open new vistas to the TeX user. Unfortunately they
> shut the door to the original pstricks. For pdflatex users there is
> pdftricks.sty. Is there anything the user of pdftex or Context can do
> to utilize pstricks?

You'll never be able to harness the full power of PSTricks without
having a full PostScript interpreter in pdftex. You might want to look at VTeX,
which has such I thing (I gather; I have not tried it). What pdftricks does
is grab each pspicture, write it out to file, run LaTeX on it, run GS on the result,
and pull back the resulting PDF. This is clever, but not completely general
(ie you can't interfere in running text). If that approach does not horrify you,
rewriting it to use your own macros and not depend on LaTeX is a fairly simple
exercise now that Radhakrishnan has demonstrated it is possible. Alternatively, write
your own preprocessor to do the same thing.

The Context manuals have plenty of examples of how to do graphics using Metapost,
so that seems the obvious way to go if you use Context. Did PStricks ever
work with Context?

Of course, if you want to have real fun, try implementing an SVG interpreter
using ConTeXt's XML parser, and write "svgtricks". Eminently doable, I believe, for someone
with a few months to spare.
Sebastian Rahtz      OUCS Information Manager
13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431

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