PDF backend for (Open)Jade

Subject: PDF backend for (Open)Jade
From: drescher@xxxxxxxxxxxx (Christof Drescher)
Date: Fri, 05 May 2000 14:49:12 +0200
Hi DSSSL-users,

in recent discussion there has been some talk about the need for a PDF 
backend to (Open)Jade again, especially when aiming towards more 
features like page-sequence etc.; since a lot of people seem to be 
interested in this, I'd like to make the announcement of just such a 
PDF backend on the horizon:

As the result of a project in the last few months, I have implemented 
an almost complete PDF formatter for DSSSL flow object trees, which 
produces PDF files directely from the .fot output of JADE. It includes 
the following features:
- supports all basic flow objects (simple-page-sequence, paragraph, 
  graphics, tables etc.), yet no mathematical formulae or 
  "advanced table features"
- has proper line-breaking implemented (using the very same 
  algorithm as original TeX :-)
- page-breaking with page balancing and booklet features
- uses standard PostScript Type1 fonts natively
- allows to import gif, jpeg and (most important) 
  other PDF files as graphics directely(!).

The backend (called fot2pdf) is written in JAVA and can be used on most 
platforms easily. It is deliberately NOT to be included in the standard 
OpenJade source tree, but runs separately taking the generated FOT file 
as input. The backend has been used to produce several documents now 
and runs stable and produces a rather good quality (at least I think 
so). As a small drawback, it is fixed to western style texts 
(left-to-right/top-to-bottom) and fonts in the standard Adobe encoding.

This information is presented some time before the program itself is 
made available so that not too much effort is wasted if someone plans 
to implement just the same. I intend to release the backend free of 
charge for non-commercial use.

I expect to have the DSSSL community give their input to the further 
development of this backend once it's available; also, since formatting 
is not limited to the capabilities of any meta-format (like rtf etc.), 
there is a chance to have more features becoming implemented now. 

Of course, the release will be announced here. Further discussion is, 
of course, welcome.

Christof Drescher
Pro Image GbR, Marburg, Germany

P.S.: If someone has good place to keep this backend for downloading 
(e.g. on the OpenJade-pages), please let me know; if there should be 
enough interest, I could make it available maybe to the end of next 

 DSSSList info and archive:  http://www.mulberrytech.com/dsssl/dssslist

Current Thread