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Old 11-09-2007, 05:55 PM   #1
chrylis
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Converting text to PDF with a2ps

Most Linux/Unix systems include the a2ps utility, which can pretty-print text files into PostScript or PDF. Unfortunately, the default a2ps setup isn't very iLiad-friendly, particularly in its selection of fonts that are hard to read on the iLiad's screen.

I've put together a small package that enhances a2ps's settings for printing to PDF for the iLiad. It uses the Bera font family (Bitstream Vera in Type1), which I find much easier to read on the iLiad.

If you have suggestions, especially on how to get a2ps to work more easily with extra fonts, please let me know!
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:17 PM   #2
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I also belatedly realized that on my system, this has problems with filenames containing spaces. The latest version of a2ps (4.13) handles the spaces correctly, but ps2pdf (in GPL Ghostscript 8.60) fails. The easiest workaround is to use underscores instead of spaces.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:12 PM   #3
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Sorry, mixed up $* and $@

NTL Using
"$@" instead of $@ works on my system, even when using multiple arguments (e.g. a2ps-iliad "READ ME" "README" "FOO BA"
converts the files "READ ME", README and "FOO BA"

Last edited by tirsales; 11-09-2007 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:02 PM   #4
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update to package

I incorporated the "$@" since it didn't hurt anything on my system, but I still get an error if I use a filename with spaces. (The error is coming from a bug in ps2pdfwr, which is part of the ghostscript package; if you have a different ghostscript, it may work fine.)

Also, I've overridden the default 24-pt margins to provide slightly more room (since the iLiad isn't actually printing, it doesn't technically need margins at all).
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:20 AM   #5
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The difference is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by test.sh
#! /bin/bash

for i in $@ ; do
echo "'$i'"
done

echo "With quotes"

for i in "$@" ; do
echo "'$i'"
done
results in:

Quote:
./test.sh fooba "duuba" "dooba du"
'fooba'
'duuba'
'dooba'
'du'
With quotes
'fooba'
'duuba'
'dooba du'
You can see that "dooba du" will be used as two arguments with $@, one arg with "$@" which is kinda strange 'cause $@ sould do exactly this (quoting arguments), but it is reproducable on a number of systems.

Have you tested using
Quote:
arg=''

for i in "$@" ; do
j=`echo $i | sed 's/ /\\ /'`
arg=$arg $j
done

a2ps ... $arg
or something similar with escaping, not quoting, the strings? Or using both? (arg=$arg '$j') as it could be a similar problem with multiple scripts run after each other?
e.g. a2ps running "a2pdfwr $@" or whatever.

I can't test it myself, my ps2pdfwr seems to work

Last edited by tirsales; 11-10-2007 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:09 AM   #6
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I'm familiar with what the difference is. (I'm more of a Ruby person, but I consider myself shell-literate enough to read the scripts.)

Before placing the blame on ps2pdfwr, I did check everything by hand to verify that it's a problem with interactions with a2ps's delegators. ;-) And, quite frankly, since it's not a major issue for me at the moment, I'm content to let it lie unless it becomes a problem for someone else.
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Old 11-21-2007, 04:10 AM   #7
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In Awe

Hi
I and in awe of the skill and inventiveness of Mobileread forum contributers they are making the iLiad reader a multitasking tool! but really I bought just to help me read web documents. Having read the forum I see that I can make my iLiad play music. So tell me how can I make this happen? oh and can I get it to play podcasts as well?
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:46 AM   #8
chrylis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canfish View Post
Hi
I and in awe of the skill and inventiveness of Mobileread forum contributers they are making the iLiad reader a multitasking tool! but really I bought just to help me read web documents. Having read the forum I see that I can make my iLiad play music. So tell me how can I make this happen? oh and can I get it to play podcasts as well?
Hey there! I bought mine for a very similar reason; however, many of the documents I need to read (such as RFCs) come in a specific text format that works much better when preformatted on the computer (with specific fonts, etc).

As far as playing music, I haven't messed with that yet; you're likely to get more exposure to your question by posting a new thread instead of just replying here, since it's about a different subject. The one tip I can give you is to look into the "mpd" (music player daemon) package. Good luck!
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