On 12/12/05, Nick Ce firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The main thing slowing down PDF support
at this point is that I am very busy between work (doing very
interesting things) and home (doing very interesting things) that
leaves me little time to work on my OSS projects (doing very
interesting things), much less the other opportunities that I have
been presented with (doing very interesting things).
It’s great to hear from you Austin, and many thanks for PDF-writer!
Sounds like you’re wonderfully busy - can you give any indication of how
far along the other pdf tools are, what your plans for the package are
and what we can do to help?
Well, as of right at this moment, I’ve had about 12 hours or so to
work on any of the PDF related stuff since RubyConf.
So not much has changed since October. I have applied a number of
patches and bugfixes and have mostly applied the Japanese language
patch provided in early November, but the author of that patch will be
reapplying portions that I have messed up as soon as I can get the
package ready for him (I have changed some of the way that the bits
are laid out because it’s very much a special case situation that I’m
not particularly happy with, but want to have because what it provides
is so very valuable).
The original plan was to have 1.1.4 out for Hallowe’en and 1.2.0 out
for Christmas. 1.1.4 will be out for Christmas or New Year’s, and
1.2.0 I hope will be out shortly after that. I will be working on
PDF::Core in parallel, which is the core piece that is necessary for
any other part. The hope will be to be able to have a working version
of PDF::Writer running on top of PDF::Core around May while I have
several other versions of PDF::Writer released with increasing
features (SVG import and presentations support) and then convert it
all to use the PDF::Core support around June or July. Once PDF::Core
is done, I can also start working on PDF::Reader, so I might be able
to have an early access version of that around the same time.
The main impediment that will prevent others from being able to
provide assistance is PDF::Core. I have to implement this right and
I also need to make sure that it’s not significantly less efficient
than what I’m doing in PDF::Writer. (PDF::Writer’s implementation of
PDF objects is heavily optimized toward output and that’s what makes
it unsuitable for PDF::Reader.) After that, I can easily accept help
on the core implementation, but it requires an understanding of a
pretty hefty specification.
Where I can accept help now is in beefing up what PDF::Writer can do.
There are a number of things that can easily be built on top of
PDF::Writer – graphs, math support, more work on the SVG support
(which isn’t in CVS right now, and I need to look at what my
collaborators have provided to date, but …), etc. Heck; the SVG
support needs a CSS engine to properly handle CSS in SVG. I took a
stab at porting the CSS engine from TurboGears back in August, but
that was a slightly early version and there were issues. I think I
still have a partial copy somewhere on one of my computers that if
some enterprising soul wants to pick that up and run with it (it will
have to meet my ideas of API quality because I am the first guaranteed
user of it ;), I’ll share that. Or if someone wants to know what I
need on that, contact me at this email address (not via the list,
please) that’ll help.
I don’t expect to be able to accept core code help until around March.
Or later, if my schedule is as bad as it has been for the last two
Austin Z. * email@example.com
* Alternate: firstname.lastname@example.org