Official PDF URLs for X Specs

Chuck Robey chuckr at
Thu Apr 24 17:26:26 PDT 2008

Hash: SHA1

Markus Kuhn wrote:

I didn't actually know where the X11 specs were, so that was nice, but ...

> Why is the archaic PS.gz format used and not the *much* more convenient
> and portable PDF?

This part seems almost like you had some sort of private goals operating.  You
know as well as I that PS is incredibly simple to convert to and from pdf, but
beyond that, pdf tends to want to find a way to make you PAY for the tools,
where all the PS stuff is public.  There is a far wider set of tools that put
out native PS, as opposed to PDF, although it's true that there is no real  lack
of pdf tools, if you want to compose directly in pdf, most of the tools want
$'s.  That doesn't mean pdf is better in any way, but it IS a bit different, at
base, with PS being a real langiage, and pdf never having that capability.  I've
personally considered that it would be possible to write a postscript module
that decoded xml(xsl) and printed directly, which is something that's flatly
impossible to do in pdf.  It wouldn't be all that hard (using nearly any
language) to write a postscript scanner, because the postscript format is far
more often based in plain text, not bitmaps.

Yes, there are some things that pdf does, but it just seems to me like your
complaining that you car doesn't come with the windows already rolled down: it's
pretty  darn easy to do  it yourself.  Kind of a pretty tiny thing to complain
about (which means, if you do get your way on this, I won't too much complain

 (PDF compresses pages individually, is supported by
> many vastly better on-screen viewers with search function, is supported
> by widely-used HTTP browser plugins, and comes with a page index for
> vastly more efficient HTTP access to individual pages!)
> Markus

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