Official PDF URLs for X Specs

Chuck Robey chuckr at
Thu Apr 24 17:44:01 PDT 2008

Hash: SHA1

Alan Coopersmith wrote:
> Markus Kuhn wrote:
>> Why are there any formatted "hardcopy" *.PS.gz files in git at all?
>> Why is the archaic PS.gz format used and not the *much* more convenient
>> and portable PDF? 
> Because this is the way the X Consortium & Open Group had them in their
> releases in the 90's, and no one has taken the time to update them since.
> There's long been a consensus in X.Org that we'd like to see the official
> specs moved from the mish-mash of current formats (troff, FrameMaker, tex,
> etc.) to all being in DocBook format, and then we could easily produce HTML,
> PS, PDF, or whatever from them, but no one has come forward to do work on
> the docs for us.   (The Foundation could probably pay for a doc conversion
> service, including proofing the results to make sure nothing was lost in
> the conversion - which should be the most time consuming part, but I don't
> know if the board has discussed that option.)

Alan, I know I just posted on this, but you know why I personally haven't yet
moved my text work to docbook?  Because, at least so far (and I would be
overjoyed to find I'm wrong here) there isn't a toolchain as short and simple as
the many postrscript ones are (like groff is), to do text formatting in, using
Docbook.  Yes, there ARE toolchains for this, but last I looked, the only ones
that came close to being full featured were gigantic mothers.  Please, if I'm
wrong, it would just make my day to find I'm wrong, but until that's true, I
sure would rather we stayed with a tool that didn't need gigabytes of tools to
work.  Heck, the one that FreeBSD uses for their docs uses (in just one of their
array of required support tools) a full TeX package, and that in itself is
bigger than the rest of X is.

Maybe, if we're lucky, in 12-24 months, a nice cheap public docbook tool will
appear.  I've been daydreaming about the possibility of writing one in
postscript, so it's just a largish postscript file, and thus really needing no
tool beyond your print utils to format.  Wouldn't that be neat?

I'm too busy to tackle that one right now, but it would be possible, wouldn't
it?  That's one postscript file that won't convert to pdf, huh!
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