[scribus-dev] backends rewrite

Leonard Rosenthol lrosenth at adobe.com
Mon Jan 17 00:01:14 CET 2011

I'll second that suggestion!   

It will reduce your need to worry about the PDF internals (to some extent) AND will enable you to gain additional functionality that you may want such as encryption/DRM, linearization (Fast Web View), etc.


-----Original Message-----
From: Craig Ringer [mailto:craig at postnewspapers.com.au] 
Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 1:25 AM
To: Scribus Development Mailing List
Cc: Andreas Vox
Subject: Re: [scribus-dev] backends rewrite

On 01/16/2011 09:02 AM, Andreas Vox wrote:

> The question if the ScPainter implementations for PDF, PS and SVG use the
> corresponding cairo backend is independent of that. Currently we do a lot of
> things in PDF output that's just not possible with cairo (shared objects, Javascript,
> forms, annotations, CMYK, ...). It's much easier for us to reconcile this stuff with
> an ScPainter implementation than rewriting the cairo PDF surface to become a
> full fledged PDF output library.

This might be another good time to look at a C or C++ based PDF output 
library that does all the low level PDF syntax and 
XObject/xref/header/footer stuff for you, ensuring valid PDF syntax and 
structure. Scribus's string-based PDF output isn't going to be 
maintainable long-term, and makes it REALLY hard to track down errors. 
If it's going to be converted to use ScPainter, maybe that's a good time 
to move it over to a PDF library, too?

If using a lower-level PDF library, you can still do all the trickier 
bits that Cairo etc don't understand yourself, but at least you get a 
nice programmatic output interface that'll do the juggling for you.

Craig Ringer

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