[tex-k] dvips: BeginPaperSize in postscript DSC

Jean-François Mertens jfm at core.ucl.ac.be
Fri Nov 10 02:04:51 CET 2006

On 09 Nov 2006, at 22:57, Karl Berry wrote:

>     %%BeginPaperSize:
>     %%EndPaperSize
>     The comments %%BeginFeature: and %%EndFeature should be  
> substituted.
> What is the exact syntax, please?
> I wonder what this change would break, ie, what (if anything) uses the
> begin/endpapersize.  Is it possible to use both?
>     Similarly, the %%Papersize comment is (loc. cit., p 101)
>     to be replaced (since 1992) by a %%PageMedia comment.
> Is the syntax for %%PageMedia the same, that is,
> %%PageMedia: Letter
> Or did Adobe make it more complicated?
> And again, would it work to add the pagemedia comment to config.ps in
> addition to the %%PaperSize, or does it have to replace?  I would be
> worried that other software might still want %%PaperSize, however  
> old it
> is.  (Even if Adobe likes to be incompatible, we don't have to.)
> I'm not sure why the "@ A4Size" has a %%PaperSize comment, but the
> "@ letterSize" doesn't.  Tom(s)?

I'm worried that the cited document refers to PostScript level 3,
ie, for ps files starting with
instead of dvips's

probably (?) dvips's comments are still correct for Postscript level  
2 ..

There might be a reason to upgrade dvips to use level 3 _ I have
no idea eg if there are still level 2 printers around _
but I would think this should be an independent issue.

There is a good reason to argue that a ps file _ just like a dvi file _
should be a reliable way for storing electronically, and hence should
continue to be interpreted correctly (at least by a "universal  
like ghostscript) for many decades at least...

In particular, that ghostscript should read correctly the first line,
and interpret the comments accordingly _ and according to its
own doc :
"<prefix>/share/ghostscript/8.54/doc/Use.htm#Paper_size" specifies :
"Individual documents can (and often do) specify a paper size, which
takes precedence over the default size. "

1) to my mind, the main culprit is ghostscript
2) maybe still dvips's maintainers can do something to help  
if really needed, after consultation with them ..
3) there might be a reason to consider whether and when dvips would  
to level 3 _ but this should be independent.

But it is crucial that the whole (la)tex + company setup for setting  
continues to function properly, especially in the crucial chain tex- 
dvips-ps2pdf ..

Jean-Francois Mertens

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