[pstricks] Pstricks and pdftex
sebastian.rahtz at oucs.ox.ac.uk
Sun Sep 29 22:07:43 CEST 2002
On Sun, 2002-09-29 at 20:31, John Culleton wrote:
> Here are my thoughts, probably erroneous.
> 1. pdftex is supposedly a superset of plain tex.
> 2. pdftex can output dvi.
> 3. Therefore, pdftex should have the capability for putting out
> a dvi file with the embedded postscript specials that are generated by
> the pstricks macros.
it does. it works perfectly well. It worked for me immediately.
its probably just a matter of specifying the right driver.
> Why not just use plain tex? Because pdftex is better in many ways. The
> fact that it bypasses two steps (dvips and ps2pdf) is a minor virtue.
which you lose if you emit dvi
> But there are other features that are more important, such as improved
> paper size specification, the potential at least of optically
> justified margins (not yet fully realized) and so on.
the paper-size specification seems like a red herring. any/all
macro packages csn do that
> My need for graphics goes beyond drawing pictures. I like to take a
> headline, surround it with a box with rounded ends, and give it a
> background. This could be done with Metafun I suppose, based on the
> principle that you can do anything with anythng if you work hard
> enough at it.
it looks to me as its easy, from reading the ConTeXt manual.
> AFAIK no, but Hans Hagen did make noises about perhaps handling that
> feature somewhat like Metapost is handled now, i.e. generate an output
> file, run it though Metapost/pstricks, and reincorporate the finished
> drawing into the document on a subsequent run. I don't know if this
> handles the kind of situation I am referring to, such as doing funky
> things with headers, chapter heads etc.
well, quite. it would not work.
> And I have a general problem
> Context and (more so) LaTeX in that they are too abstract and
> structured. I want someting closer to the actual mechanism, in other
> words something like plain tex.
thats fine. but the reason for using LaTeX or ConTeXt is that
you build on the shoulders of giants. a lot of the work is
done for you already. by limiting yourself to plain TeX, you
get to reinvent all the wheels again... which is your prerogative :-}
> It would have been nice if Han The Thanh had instead of inventing
> pdftex had invented pstex.
it would have been a possibility, I guess. I suppose he
simply followed the trend. After all, PDF is "next generation
PostScript" in the eyes of its creators.
Sebastian Rahtz OUCS Information Manager
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