Notes on PDF::Writer's next release...

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Austin Ziegler, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. Folks,

    I know that there's quite a bit of interest in an updated
    PDF::Writer. I am in the process of updating it and massively
    changing the API.

    The good news is that there's going to be a lot of enhancements:
    * Proper image support for both JPEG and PNG images, including
    4-channel (CMYK) JPEG images. Alpha support in PNG will probably
    need additional work as it looks like the original code for that
    was buggy, and I need to review the PDF reference.
    * Better handling of PDF options.
    * New graphics primitives and changes to the way some of the
    graphics primitives work -- I am hoping to also do some SVG/RVG
    style graphics primitives.
    * Three-colour (RGB) or four-colour (CMYK) support (I don't think
    that there's a way to do HSB support) with additional prepress
    support and numerous "named" colours.
    * Better font handling: it should be possible to discover your
    main font repository so that the .afm file and the .ttf or type1
    font does not need to be in the same directory. You will still
    require a .afm file to import non-standard fonts.
    * Various bug fixes.
    * Enhanced table creation and options.
    * Various other formatting improvments.

    There's one big piece of bad news: the API is changing so
    drastically that current users will *not* simply be able to use the
    current version in place. I had initially done a lot of the work on
    this release so that it could be used in place, but I was looking at
    the proliferation of objects and classes and code "everywhere" that
    I determined that it's important that I clean this up.

    The biggest change that I'm doing right now is that PDF::EZWriter
    will be disappearing. Its code will be incorporated into the core
    PDF::Writer class, or separated out into other classes or modules
    that will be used in addition to or instead of PDF::EZWriter.

    I am also hoping to reenable Compression of PDF documents to reduce
    the size of the document (the "readme.rb.pdf" -- which will be
    renamed in this upcoming release -- is over 200kb when generated),
    and verify the operation of encrypted documents.

    I think that this will be a very exciting release. Watch for it in
    early March.

    Austin Ziegler *
    * Alternate:
    Austin Ziegler, Feb 18, 2005
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