[tex-k] Re: tug.ctan.org upload: pclnfss

Leif Harcke lharcke at stanford.edu
Tue Mar 16 19:21:05 CET 2004

On Tue, 16 Mar 2004, Jim Hefferon wrote:
> Thanks for the upload.  May I ask you a question about it, please? I
> don't know anything about the dviljk codebase.  Is there some reason why
> these files couldn't be merged into that codebase? Surely that would be
> less confusing to all concerned?  (I did note, though, that we don't
> list a current maintainer.)

I'm not very familiar with the history of these files. A discussion is
taking place on tex-k at tug.org.  The following is my understanding, and
probably has errors.

The font metrics, virtual fonts, and LaTeX2e NFSS style files for the
standard 45 scalable PCL fonts were removed from the dviljk codebase
sometime in the late 1990's.  The reason for this isa that (technically)
these files can be used with any DVI to PCL5e driver.  Unfortunately, when
these files were separated from dviljk v2.7 and later, they became
orphaned and are currently not included in any package on CTAN.

The idea behind PCLNFSS is to have a package that contains an analogous
collection of files to the very popular PSNFSS package for using the
standard 35 PostScript fonts.  In the same way that PSNFSS provides font
metrics and LaTeX2e style files which can be used with any DVI to
PostScript driver, the PCLNFSS package provides the font metrics and style
files for use with any DVI to PCL5e driver.

I would prefer to keep the font metrics, virtual fonts, and style files
separate from any one particular DVI to PCL driver, even though they
originated in the dviljk package.  Sebastian Rahtz is the one who cut
these files from the dviljk distribution in the 1998 time frame, I believe
for the reasons stated above.  He can probably comment on if they should
be put back into dviljk.

A note on dviljk:  The latest dviljk v2.8 sits in the "historic" tree on
tug.org and the "obsolete" tree on CTAN.  TE seems to be keeping a branch
of the code (which is called dviljk-2.6p2) in his teTeX distribution,
though dviljk-2.6p2 cannot be obtained on CTAN as a package separate from
teTeX at this time.

A note on PCL:  HP put extensive work into upgrading the language to PCL6
or PCL-XL, which is the baseline on most of their new high end printing
products.  Artifex has an AFPL version of their GhostPCL product available
which interprets PCL6 and PCL5, and can distill PCL to PDF.  So I don't
think PCL is quite dead yet.  A DVI to PCL6 driver may appear at some
point, since it is quite easy to debug PCL6 driver output using GhostPCL.

Leif Harcke
lharcke at stanford.edu

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