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Jonathan Underwood 01-27-2010 05:04 PM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
Dear All,

We currently ship xdvik as a package separate to texlive (for a
variety of reasons). Looking forward to when we ship texlive-2009,
it'll be built as part of the texlive package build once more.
However, even better would be to drop it entirely, for the following
reasons:

1) It's a legacy piece of software which is barely maintained - a
couple of times a year releases are made with small bugfixes, but
there's no actual development

2) We patch it heavily to bodge in japanese support using a separate
upstream patch from http://sourceforge.jp/projects/xdvi/, but this
patch isn't actively maintained either, and rebasing that patch is a
time sink.

3) The need to incoorporate the japanese patch, and also the desire to
build against the system installed kpathsea shared lib rather than
link statically means we end up hacing the autotools scripts and have
to run autotools during package building, and worse, we have to use
old autotools as the scripts are so crusty.

4) It's one of the few users of the Xaw(3d) toolkit in the repo, and
also requires legacy font support (IIRC).

However, it's not clear to me if okular and evince-dvi provide
equivalent functionality that we're yet in a position to drop xdvik.
Comments? If you use xdvik because other viewers don't give some
particular functionality, it would be helpful if you stated what that
functionality is.

Cheers,
Jonathan
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Till Maas 01-27-2010 05:11 PM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 06:04:49PM +0000, Jonathan Underwood wrote:

> However, it's not clear to me if okular and evince-dvi provide
> equivalent functionality that we're yet in a position to drop xdvik.
> Comments? If you use xdvik because other viewers don't give some
> particular functionality, it would be helpful if you stated what that
> functionality is.

I do not know how good the support for this is nowadays in okular, but
xdvi supports to open a tex editor for the source of the currently
viewed area. Afaik okular should support it, too, but maybe only for
pdf. And the last time I tried to use it, I gave up due to lack of
documentation.

Regards
Till
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Jonathan Underwood 01-27-2010 05:23 PM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
2010/1/27 Till Maas <opensource@till.name>:
> On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 06:04:49PM +0000, Jonathan Underwood wrote:
>
>> However, it's not clear to me if okular and evince-dvi provide
>> equivalent functionality that we're yet in a position to drop xdvik.
>> Comments? If you use xdvik because other viewers don't give some
>> particular functionality, it would be helpful if you stated what that
>> functionality is.
>
> I do not know how good the support for this is nowadays in okular, but
> xdvi supports to open a tex editor for the source of the currently
> viewed area. Afaik okular should support it, too, but maybe only for
> pdf. And the last time I tried to use it, I gave up due to lack of
> documentation.
>

Yes - looks like that should now work though:

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=205084

Haven't personally tried.

Evince is also supposed to have similar functionality (there was a
patch posted to the mailing lists 6 months ago). I'll put this
requirement down as something needed before we drop xdvik.

Thanks.
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Jussi Lehtola 01-27-2010 06:45 PM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
On Wed, 2010-01-27 at 18:04 +0000, Jonathan Underwood wrote:
> However, it's not clear to me if okular and evince-dvi provide
> equivalent functionality that we're yet in a position to drop xdvik.
> Comments? If you use xdvik because other viewers don't give some
> particular functionality, it would be helpful if you stated what that
> functionality is.

As a heavy LaTeX user I would be really against dropping xdvi before
there is some other app that runs as fast. Evince very slow - xdvi shows
pages straight away, whereas evince often displays "Loading..."
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Michael Cronenworth 01-27-2010 06:53 PM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
Jussi Lehtola on 01/27/2010 01:45 PM wrote:
> As a heavy LaTeX user I would be really against dropping xdvi before
> there is some other app that runs as fast. Evince very slow - xdvi shows
> pages straight away, whereas evince often displays "Loading..."

How about profiling evince instead?

perf should make it dead-simple for you.
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Orion Poplawski 01-27-2010 09:38 PM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
On 01/27/2010 12:45 PM, Jussi Lehtola wrote:
> On Wed, 2010-01-27 at 18:04 +0000, Jonathan Underwood wrote:
>> However, it's not clear to me if okular and evince-dvi provide
>> equivalent functionality that we're yet in a position to drop xdvik.
>> Comments? If you use xdvik because other viewers don't give some
>> particular functionality, it would be helpful if you stated what that
>> functionality is.
>
> As a heavy LaTeX user I would be really against dropping xdvi before
> there is some other app that runs as fast. Evince very slow - xdvi shows
> pages straight away, whereas evince often displays "Loading..."

I suspect a lot of our users will be similarly annoyed. This is one of
those kinds of tools that "just works" and so people stick with it.

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3380 Mitchell Lane orion@cora.nwra.com
Boulder, CO 80301 http://www.cora.nwra.com
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Jonathan Underwood 01-27-2010 10:08 PM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
2010/1/27 Orion Poplawski <orion@cora.nwra.com>:
> I suspect a lot of our users will be similarly annoyed. *This is one of
> those kinds of tools that "just works" and so people stick with it.

Well.. perhaps. OTOH people seem to have happily migrated from xpdf to
evince over time (or at least that's my perception).
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Jussi Lehtola 01-27-2010 10:47 PM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
On Wed, 2010-01-27 at 23:08 +0000, Jonathan Underwood wrote:
> 2010/1/27 Orion Poplawski <orion@cora.nwra.com>:
> > I suspect a lot of our users will be similarly annoyed. This is one of
> > those kinds of tools that "just works" and so people stick with it.
>
> Well.. perhaps. OTOH people seem to have happily migrated from xpdf to
> evince over time (or at least that's my perception).

What do you mean?

# yum -y install xpdf
(clip)
---> Package xpdf.x86_64 1:3.02-15.fc12 set to be updated

xpdf is still there, so actually nothing brutal has yet happened in the
case of xpdf. When xpdf *is* removed I'd expect cries of rage.

**

For PDFs I personally have used evince ever since it was introduced in
Fedora. In the case of PDFs the wait for a page to load is just a second
or so.

For PS (or EPS!) files, on the other hand, evince can be *really* slow
in my experience. Often I just convert the files to PDF first with
ps2pdf or epstopdf - if a file doesn't seem to open launching another
terminal, converting the file to PDF and launching another evince
process to view it is quicker to display than the original process that
had been running all the time in the background.
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Matthew Saltzman 01-28-2010 12:16 AM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
On Thu, 2010-01-28 at 01:47 +0200, Jussi Lehtola wrote:
> On Wed, 2010-01-27 at 23:08 +0000, Jonathan Underwood wrote:
> > 2010/1/27 Orion Poplawski <orion@cora.nwra.com>:
> > > I suspect a lot of our users will be similarly annoyed. This is one of
> > > those kinds of tools that "just works" and so people stick with it.
> >
> > Well.. perhaps. OTOH people seem to have happily migrated from xpdf to
> > evince over time (or at least that's my perception).
>
> What do you mean?
>
> # yum -y install xpdf
> (clip)
> ---> Package xpdf.x86_64 1:3.02-15.fc12 set to be updated
>
> xpdf is still there, so actually nothing brutal has yet happened in the
> case of xpdf. When xpdf *is* removed I'd expect cries of rage.

Indeed, there are several features of xpdf that evince doesn't yet
support. Until it does, it turns out to be useless with emacs-auctex,
for one thing.

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=451210

>
> **
>
> For PDFs I personally have used evince ever since it was introduced in
> Fedora. In the case of PDFs the wait for a page to load is just a second
> or so.
>
> For PS (or EPS!) files, on the other hand, evince can be *really* slow
> in my experience. Often I just convert the files to PDF first with
> ps2pdf or epstopdf - if a file doesn't seem to open launching another
> terminal, converting the file to PDF and launching another evince
> process to view it is quicker to display than the original process that
> had been running all the time in the background.

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Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu
http://www.math.clemson.edu/~mjs
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Richard Zidlicky 01-28-2010 09:38 AM

The road to dropping xdvik
 
On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 11:08:25PM +0000, Jonathan Underwood wrote:
> 2010/1/27 Orion Poplawski <orion@cora.nwra.com>:
> > I suspect a lot of our users will be similarly annoyed. *This is one of
> > those kinds of tools that "just works" and so people stick with it.
>
> Well.. perhaps. OTOH people seem to have happily migrated from xpdf to
> evince over time (or at least that's my perception).

not happy with evince, however okular works nicely. The speed difference to
xdvi is substantial.
How many people actually use the japanese support of xdvi if thats the main problem?

Richard
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