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Re: Bug#329425: RFA: psutils -- A collection of PostScript document handling utilities

Scripsit Rob Browning <rlb@defaultvalue.org>

> I have also wondered a bit about the current status of the domain.  Is
> psutils still needed, or are there better, more actively pursued
> alternatives now?  For example, can similar functionality be provided
> by convenience wrappers around ghostscript, as suggested in #159888?

As far as I'm aware, psutils are the default tools for doing black-box
manipulation of postscript files at the Document Structuring
Conventions level. For things that logically belong at that level it
would be an ugly kludge to have to simulate them by ghostscript

(For example, some postscript files explode in size when they are
passed through ghostscripts pswrite backend - which is more or less by
design. Others become smaller, but in any case this ought to be kept
orthogonal from simple page rearrangements and such).

In my experience, tools like psnup, psselect, pstops, psbook, psresize
are things that people expect to "just exist" on any unix-like
system. (In fact I thought psutils was priority Standard until I just
now checked). It would be wrong not to have them in Debian.

The general utility value of fix*ps is more dubious; and I don't have
a quick opinion about psmerge, epsffit, getafm, extractres, and
includeres. I have no idea what showchar does. If the package had not
been so small already, it might be worth considering whether to split
some of the more obscure filters into a separate package.

I'm be willing to throw some effort at keeping the common psutils
tools in Debian (and keeping them well-maintained), preferably as part
of a team [thus not retitling to ITA just yet].

Henning Makholm          "Den nyttige hjemmedatamat er og forbliver en myte.
                    Generelt kan der ikke peges på databehandlingsopgaver af
                  en sådan størrelsesorden og af en karaktér, som berettiger
              forestillingerne om den nye hjemme- og husholdningsteknologi."

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