[tex-live] Asymptote/DviPS and ghostscript (gone) epswrite device

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Fri Feb 6 01:38:00 CET 2015

On 2015-02-05 at 11:29:41 +0100, Dr. Werner Fink wrote:

 > Just done and also tried your mentioned commands with the example in
 > bug boo#897284 but after
 >   mv hdr_KDK.eps hdr_KDK.eps.orig
 >   mv doc.ps doc.ps.orig
 >   mv doc.dvi doc.dvi.orig
 >   eps2eps -dEmbedAllFonts hdr_KDK.eps.orig  hdr_KDK.eps
 >   latex doc.tex
 >   latex doc.tex
 >   dvips doc.dvi
 > I see a blank page.  The graphic hdr_KDK.eps for its self looks OK.
 > After running

Hi Werner,
does the file doc.tex contain any text apart from that in the included
graphic file?  It's worthwhile to know if you say that you got a blank
page. ;)

Anyway, could you please send me all the files I need to reproduce the
problem?  Maybe I can investigate next weekend.

 >   ps2epsi hdr_KDK2.eps
 >   dvips doc.dvi
 > I see the same broken layout in the final PostScript file doc.ps
 > that is that glyps are missed.  I guess that as the font
 > provided/included from dvips will be used regardless if later the
 > full font is loaded again.

 > Indeed after running
 >   dvips -j0 doc.dvi
 > the full graphic is visible regardless if I use the original eps or
 > the larger one. IMHO the default `j' in config.ps for dvips should
 > become `j0'.

I fear that this overrides the settings in psfonts.map.  And fonts are
included partially by default deliberately.  Some font foundries do
not allow to embed complete fonts because it's quite easy to extract
them.  Zdeněk Wagner already pointed it out.

 > https://bugzilla.opensuse.org/show_bug.cgi?id=897284

There was a discussion about Ghostscript fonts.  Just a few notes:

As you know, Ghostscript had been shipped with a modified version of
the fonts donated by URW gratefully under GPL.  TeX Live always
provided the original URW fonts.  The problem is that the fonts
shipped with Ghostscript were modified but neither /FontName nor the
/UniqueID was changed.  This violates the PostScript specification
which clearly sais that there should never exist two different fonts
in the world with the same /FontName.

A few years ago I explained in detail on a TeX related mailing list
why this was a bad idea and which problems were to be expected.  Some
time later I noticed that somebody forwarded my mail to the
Ghostscript developers.  Chris Liddell then said that the sole purpose
of the URW fonts is to provide a replacement for the Adobe fonts built
into laser printers and that the extra glyphs are not needed.

The situation is not better now.  Though the modified fonts are still
available, recent versions of Ghostscript have the fonts built-in
(this behavior can be disabled by a ./configure option).  The nasty
thing is that the built-in fonts support only the glyphs provided by
Adobe, hence less than the original URW fonts.

However, some extra glyphs had been added to the built-in symbol font.
It took me some time to find out what's going on when somone reported
missing glyphs in his dvi/pdf file.  It's often quite time-consuming
to solve such problems and to look for a workaround.  But I'm
absolutely convinced that ordinary LaTeX users are lost and most of
them simply give up and blame TeX.

The problems with different fonts with the same /FontName are
extremely nasty.  There must be a reason why it's explicitly forbidden
in the PostScript specs.

IMO the only solution is to avoid the fonts shipped with Ghostscript
completely.  The built-in fonts can be overridden by external .pf[ab]
files with a Fontmap file.  TeX Live users on Windows are in advantage
here.  Ghostscript in TeX Live for Windows is using the original URW
fonts from CTAN, maintained by Walter Schmidt.

In a better world all Unix/Linux distributions would provide these
fonts too instead of relying on anything shipped with Ghostscript.
The latter turned out to be a moving target, TeX users expect more
consistency and reliability.

Werner, if you are interested, look at


Using these fonts with ghostcript makes sure that no glyphs get lost
if EPS files are created with external tools (XFig,...) and embedded
into TeX files later.

Many problems can be avoided if only one version of /URWPalladioL-Roma,
for example, exists on all systems.  And this can only be the file
originally provided by URW.  Any modified version with the same
/FontName is definitely harmful and should be removed forever.


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

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