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

Martin Schröder martin at oneiros.de
Fri Oct 27 21:44:54 CEST 2006

2006/10/27, Frank Küster <frank at debian.org>:
> recently more projects that do not need any of the fancy graphical
> interfaces are considering using poppler, e.g. CUPS.  However, the
> poppler developers plan to make unavailable the old, undocumented, never
> planned and unmaintainable API of "plain libpoppler".

Whatever that is.

> These two wishes together give us a fair chance that someone will
> actually do the work and develop a clean API for a plain C-only poppler,
> without any graphics payload.  Therefore it would be nice if someone
> among the pdfTeX developers would take part in the discussion, in
> particular help answer the question in
> http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/poppler/2006-October/002260.html
> ,----
> | What functionality would the tetex people need exported from such an
> | API?
> `----

I just did.

> At a short glance over pdftoepdf.cc and pdftosrc.cc, I only found these
> symbols:
> Ref
> GfxFont
> GBool
> PDFDoc
> GString
> LinkDest
> Stream
> But in fact there may be more - and you may also have some wishes about
> PDF parsing and manipulation that need to be added yet.

If we would start pdfTeX now, we would probably use much more (Taco,
are you listening? :-). E.g. pdfTeX has a complete machinery for
parsing font files, while poppler probably also has code for that. And
the code for writing objects is also duplicated and quite low-level in
So there is definitely duplicate functionality.

A very short term goal (i.e. 1.40) would be to have code in
utils.c:initversionstring to handle the case where poppler is used
instead of xpdf. And to have the patches you already distribute for
using poppler in pdfTeX.


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