[tex-live] Re: [tex-k] TeX finding filenames with spaces

Pierre MacKay mackay at cs.washington.edu
Thu Jan 15 00:13:23 CET 2004

Excerpt from Sebastian's latest (this really ought to be a new thread)

>>       they still need reliable output in dvi/ps which can simply crash
>>       in the pdf way (not to mention professional usage -- playing
>>       with color separations, transformations, etc). Sorry, but PS has
>>       better defined definition than pdf, which is still in turn
>>       of changing.
> hmm. I don't think history will support you. PostScript started off
> clean, turned into an extended mess, and now looks frozen. PDF started
> clean, and has remained clean, with incremental development. more or
> less ;_] 

I am entirely with Staszek Wawrykiewicz.  The past six months have
been a nightmare of PDF failures, culminating in an installation of
Adobe Acrobat 6.0 whose distiller functions deliver halftones which
still work perfectly alright in 5.0 as black holes.  There doesn't
seem to be any setting available, that will produce anything but black
holes, and how would you find out from the abysmal documentation?

This, I admit, may be a failure of Adobe, rather than of PDF, but the
problem is still there.  PDF presents you with a black box from which
you cannot climb out.  There must be a dozen cases now where I have no
choice but to hand edit PostScript, which is no fun, but is at least

Let's just take the problem I recently published here.  I am required
to supply an in-RIP color separation for a two-color cover to a
journal, and the colors must be specified as Pantone Spot colors.  All
the Latex I can find (I don't happen to use LaTeX because I had to
develop my formats before LaTeX was sufficiently far along to be
considered, and I don't know even now whether the in-line PostScript I
have to use to get display titles right is possible in LaTeX) tells me
how to use RGB and, somewhat grudgingly, how to use CMYK.  Spot colors
are not even mentioned.

In the "real world," presses and printing houses use ad-hoc
condensations of fonts, sometimes letter by letter, and complain
bitterly even of CMYK color spaces that exactly match the Pantone
swatch, (at least as defined by Adobe.)  If you generate PDF, you
generate something that is aggressively unreadable by humans, and if
you convert it to PostScript, you get unreadable PostScript.  How one
earth, then, are you to insert the various tweakings that are
increasingly demanded by the "real world?"

One thing that distinguishes the TeX world of typesetting from Quark,
Pagemaker etc., is the ability to find out what happened when the
results are unsatisfactory, and often to repair the damage with simple
tools.  A deliberate reversion to unreadable obscurantism at any level
of production is worse than a crime, it is a blunder.


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