From Inkscape Wiki
Revision as of 07:31, 17 December 2005 by JonCruz (talk | contribs) (Revert spamming)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Bryce has pointed out the #1 feature need for Inkscape right now is strong support for Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) and Postscript (PS) in his 2005.11.30 email to the Inkscape mailing lists. This ConsensusPoll exists to enable the community to efficiently create and commit to a plan of action to resolve this issue.


  • >= 20 inkscape enthusiasts
  • >= 4 developers with commit access
  • >= 95% yes
  • all conditions in plan are met
  • 72 hour GO timer
  • 80% cloture


Because this contract defines what it means to participate in this poll it will never be changed. If it turns out to be inadequate, this poll must be canceled and a new poll with a new contract must be drafted.

Yes-No Poll

Participation in this poll is open to anyone who wants to participate.

Voting yes in this poll means that you believe the community created plan is ready for implementation, and that you will do your part to support its execution. Voting no in this poll means that you have outstanding concerns about the community created plan. You can change your vote at any time. All votes are transparent so that those voting yes can listen to the concerns of those voting no.

No ... BrandonCsSanders    - Success needs to be defined (e.g., if all 20 test cases are passed ...)
No ... BryceHarrington     - I will pledge $50 once someone defines how we do pledges :-)
No ... AlexandreProkoudine - There is no plan yet
No ... ColinMarquardt      - There is no plan yet
No ... EricWilhelm         - The plan needs salt
No ... MenTaLguY           - This isn't much of a plan...
No ... JonCruz             - Plan? Not quite yet
No ... JonPhillips         - no plan...
No ... NicuBuculei         - so far the plan is weak
No ... RalfWStephan        - isolated thoughts don't make a plan, pledge 5% of SoC money amount used for it
No ... AndyFitzsimon       - I will also pledge $50 once someone defines how we do pledges.
No ... TuukkaPasanen       - There isn't good plan yet.
No ... EricJonas           - There is no plan

(If you are voting no because the plan is incomplete, please describe what you'd like to see added or changed.)


$50 ... BryceHarrington  - I will pledge $50 once someone defines how we do pledges :-)
$50 ... AndyFitzsimon    - I will also pledge $50 once someone defines how we do pledges.
??? ... RalfWStephan     - pledge 5% of SoC money amount used for it (how much is this?)
$50 ... BrandonCsSanders - once the plan is done
$100 ... EricJonas       - Just let me know how to pledge


  1. Describe the Current PDF Support
  2. Identify Required PDF Support
  3. Assemble a few dozen examples to use as PDF test cases
  4. Document how each of the current existing projects (potential starting points) performs on the suite of test cases
  5. Determine timeframe
    1. Start some time in early 2006?
    2. Expected completion some time in mid/late 2006?
  6. Select developer with the right skillset
    1. C/C++, XML
    2. PDF file format
    3. SVG file format
    4. Able to work under (U.S.) contract
    5. /Other skillset requirements?/
  7. Determine what funding is needed to enable them to complete the work
  8. Establish a contract with the selected developer to perform the work
  9. When the developer is done, verify that all test cases pass, then pay developer

Background Information

Adequate Technical Solutions

What solutions would be fine?

  • Library that integrates directly in to inkscape (and scribus, ...)
    • Use Cairo as the presentation layer and use its support for pdf/ps
      • See Poppler for PDF import.
      • This may be a first step towards an eventual migration of the backend renderer to Cairo
    • Pull out the scribus pdf support into a libpdf that can be shared by both scribus and Inkscape
      • Requires conversion of Qt-isms into more neutral widgetset-independent style
  • Extend an existing standalone (filter) tool that can be bundled with inkscape

Possible Strategies

  • Raise money and hire a developer to implement it
    • Collect pledges, once we are over threshold collect funds (
      • What should the threshhold be? $2000? $5000?
      • Still too early to decide what the threshold should be. We need to know how much it will cost first.
    • Need to decide what the funds would be spent on ahead of time
      • 10-20% - Tester to collect test cases and put together a test suite for developer to use
      • 70-80% - Developer to write the code, document it, and make it pass the tests
      • 5-10% - Liaison to handle the paperwork, collect/distribute funds, track/report progress, and verify the work has been completed adequately
    • Mercenaries that would do this for us?
      • BrandonCsSanders ... I'd do it for $2000, half up front, half once it meets spec. Caveat: it would take me six months to complete because my plate is pretty full right now and I'll be snatching a week here and a week there.
      • EricWilhelm ... This will be a lovely fit for the UberConverter. I'm guessing $5k would get it to about the same level as XAR and SVG in chromista. Caveat: Those aren't done yet. Check back in Jan. I would also be happy to oversee/direct the work of someone else wanting to write this as a pair of UberConverter connectors (crs2pdf, pdf2crs.)
      • /other mercenaries?/
  • Hold a BarnRaising
  • Wait for a volunteer to get inspired and just do it


  • What about what inkscape earned through the Google Summer of Code? What's the status of this?
    • $2000 earned; there has been no plan or consensus for what to use it for
  • Does Cairo have PDF export already? What about to use cairo for just this job? and later then use cairo for the whole presentation layer? Instead of creating an interims solution?
    • Yes, Cairo has PDF export capabilities; it's unknown if it's significantly better than our current (poor) pdf export functionality
    • Cairo Postscript and PDF backends are still experimental and disabled by default in current stable release, but plan is to make them supported in next stable release, expected for the end of 2005. See Cairo ROADMAP
    • A way to test cairo capabilities would be to use librsvg HEAD. See Dom Lachowicz blog entry.
  • Investigate ps2ai, pstoedit and ai2svg conversion options (potential EPS support?)
  • Import of native Adobe Illustrator files, which have been PDF based since Illustrator 10 (at least).
  • Other RFE's related to Import or Export?
  • Add extension for use of VDX2SVG
    • (This is an unrelated file format... -- Bryce)
  • UberConverter

  • I'd like to suggest looking at Xpdf or ghostview as possible bases to build a pdftosvg tool with. They both come with command line tools to convert pdf files to other formats. - Ulf Erikson
    • This is what we do currently iirc - Bryce
    • Uh, okay. I must have missed that. What tool do you use? I know about pdf2svg, ill2svg and ai2svg. Neither seem to be based on a pdf reader/viewer. I have never tried the (Windows only?) SVG plugin for pstoedit and the ps2svg SVG driver for Ghostscript doesn't seem to be available at all. Anyway, I see now that you list Poppler (which a pdf library based on Xpdf) as something worth looking at, so I guess you can remove my comment all together. Let me know if you wish to try my Xpdf code with Poppler. - Ulf (Could we not use the mailing list for discussions?)