Poppler packaging suggestion

dg1727 dg1727 at hushmail.com
Fri Aug 24 17:52:01 UTC 2012

On Tue, 21 Aug 2012 16:08:43 -0400 dg1727 <dg1727 at hushmail.com> 
>About Poppler, I have a packaging suggestion which may affect 
>Ubuntu installer code as well.  
>First some background:  
>In order to render CJK fonts in PDF files, Poppler needs the 
>package "poppler-data" to be installed.  If "poppler-data" isn't 
>installed, any CJK text in a document is invisible.  
>It is stated in https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/language-
>selector/+bug/893920 that "poppler-data" shouldn't be a regular 
>(mandatory) dependency because "poppler-data" is too big to fit on 
>an Ubuntu install CD.  
>An intended solution has been made (documented in 
>selector/+bug/893920 ) by modifying "language-selector", starting 
>with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, to install poppler-data unconditionally.  
>There are some cases in which I think this intended solution might 
>not work:  
> A. I don't know much about language-selector, so I suppose there 
>may be cases when language-selector doesn't run, either on upgrade 
>from a version of Ubuntu prior to 12.04, or on a new install of 
>12.04 or higher.  
> B. As I recall, once the OS (12.04 or higher) is installed, a 
>notification icon prompts the user to run "language-selector", but 
>the user may ignore this notification.  Until language-selector is 
>run, poppler-data doesn't get automatically installed.  
> C. Someone may un-install poppler-data, either accidentally or on 
>purpose, (if a PDF reader was un-installed as part of this, then 
>the same or a different PDF reader may then be re-installed 
>without poppler-data,) then try to view a PDF file that contains 
>CJK fonts. 
>My idea is ...
>... to make "poppler-data" a Recommended dependency of Poppler, 
>and that certain use cases will be as follows:  
> 1.  CD installs will enable the apt-get flag "--no-install-
>recommends", so that APT won't try to install poppler-data from 
>the CD, since poppler-data won't be on the CD.  
> 2.  The existing installer has a prompt similar to "Do you want 
>to update all software to the latest versions via the 
>Internet?".  When this is selected by the user and packages are 
>being downloaded, "--no-install-recommends" can be disabled 
>(possibly letting the user override this in case they are very 
>low on disk space), so that poppler-data will be downloaded and 
> 3.  DVD installs can disable "--no-install-recommends", and have 
>poppler-data on the DVD.  Poppler-data will be installed 
>unconditionally from the DVD, without the user being prompted, 
>without network access being needed, and without requiring the 
>user to run "language-selector" from the desktop notification.  
> 4.  The "--no-install-recommends" flag can be disabled by default 
>in the GUI frontends to APT (it may be already), so that in case C 
>above, poppler-data will automatically get re-installed along with 
>any PDF reader that uses poppler-data, unless the user has enabled 
>this flag.  
>As stated in 
>nts/7 :
>(The bug summary is "Can't read PDF file with CJK 
>(Chinese/Japanese/Korean) text".)  
>"The fix should be somewhere in the poppler, it's not applicatin 
>task to care about cidToUnicode mask." 
>... so I am suggesting that poppler-data be made a dependency of 
>Poppler, not of a specific PDF-reading application.  
>I hope that labeling certain dependencies as Recommended, and 
>adjusting the "--no-install-recommends" strategy as suggested, may 
>be helpful in cases other than poppler-data, for packages that 
>users would generally want to have but that don't fit on an 
>install CD.  
>The issue of invisible "CJK" fonts can affect PDF documents that 
>contain only Latin characters but were produced by software that 
>is set up for CJK speakers.  So the issue can affect 
>non-CJK-speaking users.  
>Thanks in advance for comment.  

Constructive criticism of this will be welcome.  Thanks.  


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