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Roger Williams roger at
Thu Jan 28 23:09:25 CET 1999

>>>>> Matthew M Copeland <dyelar at> writes:

  > One problem with PDF files is that they have a tendency to grow
  > rather large quickly in comparison to other file formats...

I think that this is only true if you assume that PDF == Windows.  If
you instead start with good Postscript code, you'll end up with a good
PDF.  PDF's flate compression will normally result in PDFs that are
*smaller* than the text original.

For example, we write our technical documents in LaTeX (with LyX), but
usually have to convert them to PDF for distribution to our customers.
A typical 100-page specification might be a 400K TeX file, which
results in a 550K PS file, which gets converted (by pstill or ps2pdf)
to a 155K PDF (compared to 95K for the gzipped TeX file).

The only standard doc format smaller than this would be a gzipped info
file or man pages, and these don't support images.  The HTML
would be much larger.

I think that the ability to distribute files in multiple formats is a
*good* thing -- and smgltools is a good way to do this -- but don't
knock PDFs on the basis of size or the need for Windoze or Adobe
Distiller, as neither of these assumptions is accurate.

(BTW, I usually use gv instead of acroread to read PDFs.)

Roger Williams                         finger me for my PGP public key
Coelacanth Engineering Inc    consulting & turnkey product development
Middleborough, Massachusetts           wireless * datacomm * DSP * ATE
tel +1 508 947-5585 * fax +1 508 861-0278 *

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