Deprecating X screen display by Ghostscript

Till Kamppeter till.kamppeter at
Mon Jul 19 17:56:30 UTC 2010


recently, many bugs got reported to Ghostscript upstream that certain 
files do not display on the screen with Ghostscript, with Ghostscript 
erroring out on them (links for example bugs below). It turned out that 
the "x11alpha" output driver of Ghostscript is the culprit. This is the 
antialiased X-Window output device of Ghostscript which is used by every 
desktop program which displays PostScript files on the screen, perhaps 
even by one or another program which displays PDF files, as Ghostscript 
is also a PDF interpreter.

I talked with the Ghostscript upstream developers about this problem and 
they recommended me to not use the X output devices of Ghostscript any 
more, as they do not only have these bugs but also do not allow to 
search text in the displayed file. PDF should be displayed with Poppler 
and PostScript be converted to PDF using the "pdfwrite" output driver of 
Ghostscript and then also displayed with Poppler.

This would also simplify the screen display applications as the 
displaying is done only by Poppler and not sometimes by Ghostscript and 
sometimes by Poppler.

Can everyone who is maintaining a PostScript screen display utility 
(evince, okular, ...) look into doing PostScript display as described? 
If it would be possible for Maverick it would be great, but at least 
reporting the problem to the upstream developers would be nice. If it is 
not possible for Maverick, we should at least change the Ghostscript 
calls not to use "x11alpha" but the simple "x11" output device. This way 
we can surround the bugs at least.


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