[NTG-pdftex] xpdf/poppler usage: Movements on the poppler side, and a request for help

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Fri Oct 27 19:44:20 CEST 2006

Frank � wrote:
> If the poppler developers now consider to no longer provide this
> unreliable "API", but offer to create one more library with a
> well-defined, reliable API for non-display uses - then I would say this
> is something that speaks *for* poppler.  It seems to indicate that they
> care for their users (and don't try to hide the problems with using an
> undocumented API).
ok, i misunderstood that part; i was under the impression that it were 
another group who had to take up that api
> If it turns out that the poppler people are not willing to listen to
> pdfTeX developers when it is about creating a non-display library
> version: Then we can still decide that we should not switch to poppler
> (or rather, for sure we will, since we don't want pdfTeX to be linked to
> qt or gtk or such).
it all depends on how portable to other platforms the library is; i 
assume that it is the intention to have it running on each platform then;

concerning an api ... i think that the main question is to what extend 
we want to be able to manipulate the content of to-be-embedded objects 
(for instance in the perspective of merging annotations, changing 
colors, etc); i think that currently only font related objects are 
somehow manipulated; maybe martin/thanh can tell how much additional 
code is written for that on top of xpdf; maybe they have a kind of api 
spec already (i never looked into the source in detail) 
> b) people who have tried to maintain or build up a relationship to Derek
>    have not been able to convince him to provide a shared library.
hm, i like static binaries (having only bad experiences with libs when 
updating but that's another story)
> So while I have nothing against MuPDF, I still think some pdfTeX
> developer should get in touch with the poppler peopler and communicate
> with them.  They have asked, and after all I expect that it will be much
> easier to switch to a poppler library that has been taylored along our
> wishes, than to MuPDF which exists independently and doesn't seem to
> have any relationship to the xpdf code we currently use.
it depends if mupdf will provide some manipulation features (hard to 
maintain independently)

i happily leave cooking up a spec to the pdftex code wizzards, as long as they can guarantee that pdftex produces the same output on each platform; that's the part that worries me most because in general tex development has a rather bad history of cross platform code development (those os-wars). 


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