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Re: Printers using free software only

On Thu, 02 Aug 2012 18:02:19 +0100, Roger Leigh wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 02:06:07PM +0000, Camaleón wrote:
>> On Tue, 31 Jul 2012 19:43:13 +1200, Chris Bannister wrote:


>> > The understanding I got from reading Roger's post was that if you are
>> > using CUPS, *THEN* you are automatically using "a PDF filter
>> > paradigm" because it **is considered superior/"more robust"**.
>> That's what CUPS developers seem to claim (?) but having used PS
>> printers and PS backend as default for all these years, I'm a bit
>> reluctant about grandiloquent wordings with no more technical proofs on
>> the superiority of one on the proposed systems over the other.
> If you want technical proof, please download the specs for both from
> Adobe's website and compare them.  Both are freely downloadable.
>   http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/en/ps/PLRM.pdf
>   http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat/pdfs/pdf_reference_1-7.pdf
> The wikipedia pages for both are also reasonably informative.

Specifications are not a proof that describe something is better or worse 
"per se", pros and cons have to be analyzed separately and also based on 
real use-cases other than over a white paper.

> The fact is, PDF *is* the continuation of PostScript.  

Yes, I know all that. What I wonder is whether my printer needs all of 
the PDF additions (my eBook reader for sure, but my printer...).

> It's just an evolved form of PostScript in a binary format.  

Evolution is not always for good ;-)

> More accurately, both formats are implementations of the "Adobe imaging
> model"; until PDF 1.4, both of these formats implemented the same set
> of primitives. PDF 1.4 and later implement new additions to the imaging
> model, while PostScript will not see any new releases.  If you look at
> all the drawing primitives contained within PostScript, they are all
> right there in PDF. If you take any PostScript document, you can
> execute it and transform all the drawing commands to their PDF
> equivalent. That's why it's trivial to to the conversion.  The converse
> is not always true: because PDF is a *superset* of the PostScript
> drawing model, and so you potentially lose information going the other
> way, because you might have to convert a single PDF primitive into
> multiple PostScript primitives which only /approximate/ the PDF.

And how it translates all of the above into "a PDF filter is better than 
PS"? I mean, I need facts, numbers, comparison tests, user-case 
examples... not nice wording :-)
> You can read a nice overview of the history and relationship between the
> two here:
>   http://www.prepressure.com/postscript/basics/history
> I hope from the above you'll understand that is indisputable that 1) PDF
> has a more technically sophisticated imaging model 

Can't tell. I'm sure PDF will add some nice features but also drawbacks 
when it comes to printing.

> 2) PDF is the de-facto standard for professional document printing 

It's the most compatible/easier to send file format, but the best... 
well, that will depend on the professional you ask ;-)

Also, careful with the election of the words. MS Word's ".doc" is also a 
"de-facto" standard document format for office automation and we know 
that's just an empty statement, right?

> 3) PostScript is no longer being developed, and PDF is its successor
> Moving to a PDF based printing workflow is an improvement due to being
> technically superior and the logical way to go.

Good to know. When I have to decide the buy for a new printer I will 
ensure it does also support PDF directly but until that moment comes, I 
will still use what my printers do understand.



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