[texhax] TeX -> PostScript, but in a resolution-independent manner

zsdc zsdc at wp.pl
Wed Jun 4 21:16:59 CEST 2003

Petr Sojka wrote:

>On Wed, Jun 04, 2003 at 05:57:05AM +0200, zsdc wrote:
>>I thought that I obviously have to be making some stupid mistake, 
>>because using TeX to produce PostScript output is probably what most 
>>of people using TeX are doing, so there have to be a simple way to 
>>produce device-independent PostScript, which I'm just missing.
>I addition to what already has been said on bitmap vs. outline
>fonts (you may want to read Nelson's comprehensive comparison at
Thanks for the link. But the more I read about it, I really start to 
getting confused... Are the scalable fonts always better than the bitmap 
fonts, or maybe I was wrong? Because from these tests it's not so 
obvious for me.

>just one subtle detail on device-independent /device-dependent
>Postscript generation:
>dvips unfortunately generates resolution dependent 
>(and thus device-dependent as well) code for character
Yes, this was my main concern. It was a surprise for me when I found out 
that after converting device-independent DVI file to even more so 
device-independent PostScript, I get device-dependent result in fact...

>with high -D and -E0 one can get relatively
>precise result, but better would be leting PostScript interpreter
>do the job (as dvipsone does).
dvipsone is not part of my teTeX distribution. Is it better than dvips?

>P.S. For direct PS generation typesetting system, try Lout.
Thanks, I haven't heard about Lout before. I quickly read about it now 
and what I've found out so far is that "Lout offers an unprecedented 
range of advanced features" most of which, if not all, have been 
precedented in TeX. But what are the things in which Lout is better than 
TeX, other than the output format?

I've read that argument in favour of Lout is that it is smaller, faster 
and easier to use, and the argument in favour of TeX is that it is more 
popular. It doesn't metter much, as TeX is already fast and small enough 
for me. But the most important thing is, what are the differences in the 
typesetting quality itself (paragraph breaking, character positioning, 
etc.)? Has Jeffrey Kingston really done a better job than Donald Knuth?

It's not that I don't want to learn anything new only because I have 
already devoted lots of time to TeX, but reading books and papers of 
(and about) Donald Knuth, I started to realize how great he is in 
computer typesetting and now I wonder if not using his man-years of 
great work is really the way to go.

By the way, I wonder why Knuth hadn't used PostScript instead of DVI as 
a device-independent output. Was it only because of historical reasons, 
or are there any strong technical reasons to use DVI instead?

I ask about it, because the main TeX target today is still DVI, but at 
least the practical reasons today are strongly in favour of PostScript. 
If I want to have something printed, my printing-office wants 
PostScript, most of people I talked to haven't even heard what DVI is, 
not to mention supporting it.


More information about the texhax mailing list