[Scribus] ghostscript-esp vs. ghostscript-afpl vs. ghostscript-gnu
Tue Jun 7 21:58:29 CEST 2005
On Tuesday 07 June 2005 20:01, Sebastian Roeder wrote:
> Today I come up with some ghostscript questions and hope someone
> can shet a light on this - it's about different ghostscript
It also does not help with the way some distros package and name GS.
> For normal office used I did never care about ghostscript - the
> distros normaly use a ghostscript-esp (at that time version 7.x)
> that is under GPL and works togehter with non-postscript printers
> and CUPS. The ESP suffix seems to be for Epson who started to make
> ghostscript-afpl non-postscript printer complient. (Note: There is
> currently 8.15.rc3 on the Cups HP).
Correction: Easy Software, tho Epson has done some sponsorship.
> When I worked with Scribus I was often recommended to use
> ghostscript-afpl instead, which is always more up to date (e.g.
> 8.15) and can be used for free (as in free beer) under the Aladin
> License. However this seems not to be the latest (stable)
> development. The latest version (e.g. 8.51) seems to be non-free,
> one has to pay a licence fee for it.
Erm, 8.51 AFPL is still free to use and re-distribute as long as you
do not charge for it.
What Scribus relies on is some of the high level "devices" and the
core interpreter. The "devices" and improved PDF 1.4/PS3 support in
the most recent versions of GS are specifically why we make a big
fuss about having the latest GS.
> To make confusion even worse there is ghostcript-gnu:
> The ghostscript main page points out that this was the name of
> ghostscript-gpl until 2004, but they have a new 8.16 release now.
Which unfortunately muddies the water as it is GPL 8.15 with some
files removed to make FSF happy. That is my understanding and I could
be wrong here, but I see little value in this release.
For printing, ghostscript-esp is the way to go. It will support the
broadest range of printers and has CUPS integrated.
> OK, I am using ghostcript-afpl-8.15 atm on Gentoo with regard to
> best Scribus results - this means I have to print my everyday docs
> on WinXP because of the "CUPS-non-postscript-incompatiblety".
ghostscript-afpl 8.15 should have CUPS integrated in gentoo AFAIK.
Patches exist for this. I do not use gentoo, but I would be pushing
the devels there are some dramatic improvements even between 8.1x and
8.5x in certain areas. The build setup between the two is *not*
If gentoo does not have esp-ghostscript at 8.15, I'd be filing RFE's
and nudging the devels.
> My questions are which ghostscript-* version is best for Scribus
> (and what the hell is the difference between the gnu one and the
> others) and maybe what I can do to get my printer to work + best
> Scribus results. As a sidenote, the printer is PCL aware (Brother
> HL5140 laserprinter).
It might be antithetical to the gentoo way, but I always have the
latest GS parallel installed to what ever the distro provides me. I
self compile it in /usr/local (the default) and pretty much use this
version without CUPS *specifically* for Scribus and GSview.
> And please correct me if I gave a wrong summary ;-)
What has happened in the past is AFPL Ghostscript was not allowed to
ship with CUPS integration. Most distros wishing to support loads of
printers used ESP-Ghostscript and were stuck waiting for ESP to
update to GPL 8.x This is no longer an issue and I hope all future
GS releases after 8.16 will come with CUPS integrated.
Transitioning to GS 8.x with all the drivers supported by ESP GS is a
major work. That task in some cases requires major rewrites of the
print drivers as the color model in GS 8 was changed (for the
RedHat never used ESP Ghostscript until 2 days ago, as they supported
many older, as well as many Japanese specific printers. They have
supported many different drivers with their own build system in RPM.
The 7.07 spec file is either a: truly scary b: a masterpiece of perl,
shell, sed and awk scripting and patches to make it all stick.
Redhat has now switched to GS 8.15, based on ESP Ghostscript. For the
adventureous, Rawhide has RPMS. Remember Rawhide's motto:
"If it breaks, you get to keep the pieces."
Mandrake Cooker and Suse 9.3, also now have GS 8.15, based on the
latest ESP-Ghostscript 8.15. I'd note that Mandrake and Suse have
contributed a pile of fixes and patches to ESP GS 8.15. Where Debian
and other distros are with GS I have not a clue.
I've tested a backport for Suse 9.2 and earlier, but it is tricky.
Ghostscript is one of the most complex packages to build via RPM if
you want CUPS, foomatic, ijs and everything else working and
What is hoped is for GPL GS 8.16/8.17 to have CUPS support natively
built in which will make upgrading in the future much less painful.
this means no more forked GS for the Linux/OSS folks. We might even
get fontconfig support added too.
GPL Ghostscript - based on an older version of AFPL Ghostscript,
maintained and released by Artifex. Has a few core drivers which are
built statically, plus "devices" which do the file conversions. Note
fixes to AFPL also get applied regularly to the GPL branch.
GNU Ghostscript - based on GPL Ghostscript minus some files and
licensing changes. (My understanding.) A quick look at the tarball
does not reveal anything new except for these minor changes and no
ESP - Ghostscript - based on GPL GS with the addition of hundreds of
additional printers supported. ESP-Ghostscrip includes CUPS, Omni and
other third party drivers. Maintained and commercially supported by
Easy Software, but also released under the GPL.
AFPL - Ghostscript - freely available, latest version of Ghostscript
I would note the Artifex folks are quite happy to work with OSS folks
and the AFPL license is fairly free as in freedom too. They have been
*very* helpful to us in some cases. That they do not wish to maintain
the extra drivers in the GPL tree is also very understandable to me.
It is probably clear as mud, but I hope this all makes sense. It is a
bit more complex, but should give folks an idea of the differences.
When 8.16/8.17 hits the distros, this will be far less complicated for
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