Re: jade/jadetex with tables (was: Re: jade/jadetex & 2 questions)

Subject: Re: jade/jadetex with tables (was: Re: jade/jadetex & 2 questions)
From: "Jack Fitzpatrick" <jfitzpatrick@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 21:42:14 +0000
----- Original Message -----
From: Joerg Wittenberger <Joerg.Wittenberger@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <dssslist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: <jjc@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, May 21, 1999 3:55 AM
Subject: jade/jadetex with tables (was: Re: jade/jadetex & 2 questions)

> **********************************************************************
> * Anyway using the rtf backend would be an option as well.  Is there *
> * any command line converter from rtf to postscript or pdf?          *
> **********************************************************************

I wrestled with this for the better part of a year.  Being previously a Unix
biggot, I wanted a simple command line utility to convert SGML to Postscript
in a stream.  My documents are virtually all tables, with images and shaded
cells, and other than the unfortunate lack of row spans, RTF was really the
only solution.  Though MIF was close, Tex was a total bust.

But I could find nothing that faithfully converted RTF to page description
language except for MS Word on Windows.  I ended up building a little
Windows server in Perl which runs Jade and processes the RTF through Word
using OLE, and returns Postscript back to Unix (it will also return RTF with
the images embedded :) .  The addition of Adobe Acrobat (not the free
version unfortunately) now provides a PDF option on my server.  Acrobat
actually gives you two PDF options:  1) a printer driver that will produce
PDF directly from any Windows app (PDFWriter); and 2) conversion of
Postscript (Distiller) to PDF.  PDFWriter is faster, and Distiller is more
feature-rich, though either produces reasonably compact PDF.  The problem is
that Acrobat only works with native Word files, not RTF, otherwise you might
be able to run the Unix version directly.

Now that I'm a Windows wannabe, I'm wishing we had a GDI version of Jade,
and forget the portability.  And I still need a robust plain text backend
for my little old 3270 friends.  I'm using nroff, which is apparently
unchanged since the 70's, and chokes easily.  Haven't had much luck using
fixed pitch RTF with either the Word text export option or generic line
printer driver.  Any ideas?

Jack Fitzpatrick

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