Author Topic: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed  (Read 33433 times)

Offline Mat

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Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« on: December 09, 2015, 11:50:52 AM »
As we are having some developers onboard now, I like to put a request here. It may be a easy solution, just needing a weekend for an experianced developers to make our Mac OS 9 computers a lot more usable for everyday tasks.

Please could somebody with codewarrior knowledge have a look!

One of the real problems we are facing is that Acrobat Reader 5.05 has come to age and is not able to render/display all modern PDF documents. Especially when it comes to  1.7 or 2.0 versions, or some 1.5 versions with unprintable content.

As there was always a Mac Ghostscript outside, it may be that it is totally simple for a developer, to push us to the present again and enable us to view all PDF documents. At least a huge improvement over Acrobat Reader should be easily possible. So here is the whole story:

There is MacGSView a viewer for PDF and PS files, distributed under the "Aladdin Free Public License". It is working well and additionally has a nice interface.

You can grab it here (plus the sources):
http://ftp.ntua.gr/mirror/ghost/aladdin/gs601/mac/test/

This viewer needs the "MacGS shhlib" to compute the PDFs.
You can get those up to date GhostScript libs at the sourceforge site:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/files/

There is the former AFPL Ghostscript and the recent GPL Ghostscript. AFPL Ghostscript always had binaries (and sources) for Mac OS 9. The latest version of this "MacGS shhlib" (which is needed so that the above "MacGSView 2.0b3" can display PDFs) from AFPL Ghostscript is the version 8.51 from the year 2005.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/files/AFPL%20Ghostscript/8.51/
Sadly there is some problem and it doesnt work correctly.

Tha latest version I could use successfully is the 8.00 from 2002
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/files/AFPL%20Ghostscript/8.00/

Sadly this is no real improvement over Acrobat reader.

I am quite sure that some codewarrior wizard could recompile the 8.51 from 2005 and bring us a huge step foreward immediatly. Perhaps it is even possible that the recent GPL Ghostscript is usable with the MacGS view easily? I cannot tell if huge porting would be needed or if it is as well a simple recompilation?

Can some developer please investigate and help !?




Offline nanopico

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 12:25:39 PM »
There is the former AFPL Ghostscript and the recent GPL Ghostscript. AFPL Ghostscript always had binaries (and sources) for Mac OS 9. The latest version of this "MacGS shhlib" (which is needed so that the above "MacGSView 2.0b3" can display PDFs) from AFPL Ghostscript is the version 8.51 from the year 2005.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/files/AFPL%20Ghostscript/8.51/
Sadly there is some problem and it doesnt work correctly.

If there are issues and problems in 8.51 recompilation will not fix those.  They would need to be fixed or you would still be in the same spot.  Someone with a good knowledge of the source base of Ghostscript (regardless of platform) could probably patch it quicker than anyone else.  So I'm not sure it would be a trivial task or not.  I might have some time next week or after the 1st of the new year to take a look at it though.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline Mat

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 12:38:16 PM »
If there are issues and problems in 8.51 recompilation will not fix those.
The issue is 8.51 is simply not found by MacGSView. To me it looks the binary is damaged. That´s why I am speculating that a recompilation might solve the problem.

So I'm not sure it would be a trivial task or not.
But you are somebody who could find it out ;)
I have no idea, perhaps it is complicated and needs heavy rework, but perhaps it is a trivial task. I am sure you can quickly get an overview and tell us more.

I might have some time next week or after the 1st of the new year to take a look at it though.
That woudl be absolutely great!

Offline Mat

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 01:39:49 AM »
To specify the problems: MacGSView needs that "GhostScriptLib PPC" from AFPL GhostScrip inside the System Extensions. As said the version 8.00 is working well. The version 8.51 contains as well a carbonized lib. Both are "not found" as soon as you try to open any file with MacGSView.
Additionally the lib package macgs-851-shlib contains a very simple GS viewer called "gsclient" this one is crashing the entire Mac immediatly if used instead of MacGSView.

Offline Mat

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2016, 01:31:11 AM »
Wanted to push this thread again, so perhaps nanopico or somebody else could have a look.

Offline nanopico

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2016, 06:30:01 AM »
Sorry I haven't gotten to look into this yet.  I've been involved in a nightmare of a project at work that pretty much sucks the life out of me the past month.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline mrhappy

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 06:45:19 AM »
I HATE those 'life sucking' projects!!! ;D ;D

Offline nanopico

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 07:15:26 AM »
I HATE those 'life sucking' projects!!! ;D ;D
Unfortunately they pay the bills.
I just wish customers wouldn't ask me to create an app, only tell me a tenth of what it needs to do and then wait until deployment to tell me another tenth of what is missing and so on and so on. Make's it hard to ever get the thing finished.
Never mind it's dealing with State regulations that seem to change every 3 months.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline nanopico

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 11:47:25 AM »
So if the exported functions and api's have not changed between 8.0 and the gpl 9.10  then  it would be possible to take the code that is platform agnostic code and put it into the 8.0, update some references and code to make it work.  So it should be possible to get the 8.53 working and possible create a 9.10 version. But please don't hold me to it. I haven't looked at the code yet.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline nanopico

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 07:50:07 PM »
This viewer needs the "MacGS shhlib" to compute the PDFs.
You can get those up to date GhostScript libs at the sourceforge site:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/files/

There is the former AFPL Ghostscript and the recent GPL Ghostscript. AFPL Ghostscript always had binaries (and sources) for Mac OS 9. The latest version of this "MacGS shhlib" (which is needed so that the above "MacGSView 2.0b3" can display PDFs) from AFPL Ghostscript is the version 8.51 from the year 2005.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/files/AFPL%20Ghostscript/8.51/
Sadly there is some problem and it doesnt work correctly.

Tha latest version I could use successfully is the 8.00 from 2002
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/files/AFPL%20Ghostscript/8.00/


Did you happen to download any of this?  The downloads from source forge for these all are non-existent.  They all error as not found.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline Mat

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 08:46:27 PM »
Did you happen to download any of this?  The downloads from source forge for these all are non-existent.  They all error as not found.
Of course! When I collected the informations again in December all of the links worked well. I can upload any of the files I linked the day after tomorrow. But it is really strange that they are "not found" now. Hopefully just a temporary SF problem!

Offline Mat

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 09:06:45 PM »
OK, the University of Berlin has the AFPL Ghostscript completely online in working condition:

ftp://ftp.fu-berlin.de/unix/misc/ghostscript/AFPL/

Including the sources and the binaries. Structure as at Sourceforge.

Offline nanopico

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2016, 09:44:37 AM »
OK, the University of Berlin has the AFPL Ghostscript completely online in working condition:

ftp://ftp.fu-berlin.de/unix/misc/ghostscript/AFPL/

Including the sources and the binaries. Structure as at Sourceforge.

Of course sourceforge is now working.  Argh I'm not the biggest fan of source forge.
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Offline Mat

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2016, 02:44:29 AM »
Push ;)

Offline nanopico

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2016, 08:04:22 AM »
Sorry I haven't gotten far with this.
My version of Code Warrior wasn't the correct one and I haven't had a chance to install the correct one to look at this.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline Mat

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 03:41:50 PM »
Do we really hae nobody onboard aside nanopico (who is doing such a great work in OS research and low level developing) who has Code Warrior up and running? I really belive that a simple recompilation might do the trick and pushes us into the present regarding pdf documents!
I hate to annoy good developers about "uninterresting" stuff, so I don´t like to bother nanopico anymore. But as well I hate to explain others that PDFx1a:2001 is the right version for printing and that printing JavaScript, ebedded videos or audio, forms and other fancy Adobe stuff is not possible at all, and that PDF 1.3 is the right version for most PDFs. ;)

Offline nanopico

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2016, 09:11:47 PM »
Do we really hae nobody onboard aside nanopico (who is doing such a great work in OS research and low level developing) who has Code Warrior up and running? I really belive that a simple recompilation might do the trick and pushes us into the present regarding pdf documents!
I hate to annoy good developers about "uninterresting" stuff, so I don´t like to bother nanopico anymore. But as well I hate to explain others that PDFx1a:2001 is the right version for printing and that printing JavaScript, ebedded videos or audio, forms and other fancy Adobe stuff is not possible at all, and that PDF 1.3 is the right version for most PDFs. ;)

Don't loose hope.  I'm downloading a newer code warrior and setting it up now.
I've been with out my dev setup the past couple weeks to a remodel and some other things. But I've got it back now sort of. Well enough to work on things.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline MacTron

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2016, 09:01:58 AM »
Ok. GhostscriptLib 8.5.1 is working already.
It can open some PDFs that Acrobat reader 5 can't, at first. But it crash with others that Acrobat reader 5 opens correctly ...
It was just a simple spelling error.  I had to find  with Resorcerer GhostscriptLib and replace it by GhostScriptLib.
Probably this "misspelling" is on purpose ... We have to test the full compatibility with MacGSView 2.0b3.
We are going to let to nanopico bigger and complex works
... ;D  ...

« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 10:03:09 AM by MacTron »
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Offline ovalking

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2016, 11:21:20 AM »
It sure would be nice to be able to open all PDFs - I reckon I can open about 80% of those I encounter. It's not clear what is special about the other 20%, but it's rather annoying.

I had not previously heard of MacGSView, but have just tried it out.
On a G3 with OS 8.6 it works with GhostScriptLib PPC 6.01 (which MacGSView comes with).
Alas it would not open a PDF downloaded from my bank - one I can't open in Acrobat Reader 4 or 5 either.

I tried GhostScriptLib PPC 8.0 & 8.51 but MacGSView complains that the library can not be opened. Confusingly it says it must be in the Extensions folder. Yet the macgs-8XX-shlib readme says it should it be in the same folder as MacGSView. Either way neither location worked for me. Another day I'll see if the behaviour is different with OS9...

Offline IIO

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Re: Simple PDF Solution; "Gostscript" -> Developer Needed
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2016, 02:35:22 PM »
as for the regular adobe pdf reader it is clear what can be special about documents: it simply wont open anything with a newer version number.

unfortunately there are too many idiots on this planet whco think it is useful to always export simple text documents using the latest version number for pdf, eps, or flash also when it is not needed at all due to the content of the file.

i am exporting an acrobat 3.x file even when i am in OSX 10.10 - and 5.x when  there are urls included. everything else is not needed in 99% of the cases.
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