Official PDF URLs for X Specs

Wichmann, Mats D mats.d.wichmann at
Thu Apr 24 19:28:00 PDT 2008

Chuck Robey wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Markus Kuhn wrote:
> I didn't actually know where the X11 specs were, so that was nice,
> but ... 
>> Why is the archaic PS.gz format used and not the *much* more
>> convenient and portable PDF?
> This part seems almost like you had some sort of private goals
> operating.  You know as well as I that PS is incredibly simple to
> convert to and from pdf, but beyond that, pdf tends to want to find a
> way to make you PAY for the tools, where all the PS stuff is public. 
> There is a far wider set of tools that put out native PS, as opposed

Sure, PDF isn't as "free" as some other things but it really
"just works" better for most people.  Generally speaking you
can click in a web browser and it's going to open for reading
and look reasonable.  On Windows, you can open standalone with
the free, although not open source, Acrobat Reader. On Linux,
you can use evince, the evolution of the old xpdf, which is
of extremely high quality and certainly free.  It's true that
the docbook-to-pdf conversion, in particular, produces results
of dubious quality - this is a known open source "gap" which
even is the subject of one of the Fedora bounties.  But you can
still generate good pdf with open tools - Open Office for example
does a high quality job if you first generate into a format it
can read.  Possibly the best open pdf generation is done by
the ReportLab tools.

So I think the summary is it's maybe a bit easier to generate
PS but it's vastly easier for today's user to read PDF.

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