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Name: rob m
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PDF applications?

Are there freesoftware applications out there for editing PDF's (assembling them, adding text, etc). It seems like it'd be a really useful and necessary thing to have around.

I'm mainly wanting to fill out forms that come in PDF (not with widgets and all, just put text on them and print them out). Currently i'm just faking it with the gimp.

I looked at the libpoppler née xpdf source, and it seems like it might be possible though not necessarily easy to modify it. there's also a python framework out there (reportlab), though the free implementation seems write only (the reading part costs money).

saw this today in miguel's web log:

Recently I have been considering the implementation of a system that would replace D-BUS and CORBA with a simple HTTP framework.

on the one hand i say go ahead and do it, see what happens; because sometimes small and seemingly inconsequential changes (in implementation or mental model or what not) resonate with people and catalyze all sorts of growth and development.

but from a user-of-technology perspective i say screw it. the churn in infrastructure isn't worth it. apple and ms have at their core some truly ugly technology, and it doesn't matter, they still manage (after their fashion).

it doesn't actually solve a problem that couldn't be otherwise solved; it just provides some theoretical cleanliness and a "well-known protocol". in the end, developer buy-in is worth more than neat technology that no one uses. people still have trouble integrating in the vfs stuff and d-n-d.

it's not necessarily a problem of the wrong technology as much as polishing and making sure it's easy for developers to take advantage of (and making sure that they actually do take advantage of it).

just pick something and stick with it.

EOR
dcoombs:
Furthermore, it is utterly disgusting that a USB-to-DB9 serial converter cable costs $80. I mean really. Yes, I guess there's some twiddling involved, but yeesh.

yeah that's a rip. off the top of my head, the parts should cost less than 10 dollars (even in low volume). i dunno where the markup comes from.

27 May 2005 (updated 27 May 2005 at 03:26 UTC) »
Shoes and ships and crap

I saw jdahlin's post the other day on GObject introspection. I'm glad to see it finally get committed thanks to m. clasen's work.

I was just a bit sad that i wasn't able to have been more active helping out after agitating for it and doing a first incomplete prototype (because of work and stuff, you know how it is?). That's the great thing about open source though.

With respect to the perennial language question: people should definitely be more aware of the fantastic work done on the C++ bindings (gtkmm, etc). (There is still the core platform issue, but regardless, application developers need to be more aware of all the options available to them).

I hate C++ at least 50,000 times as much as the average joe (read back a bit...arg, it's just such a half-assed language wrt what it could have been). But it can be made to work, and it does make a person more productive: for example deriving a new gobject is handled transparently without half-a-ton of boiler plate that always makes one stop and ponder if the usefulness of deriving is worth the pain.

That said, if a person needs to use C++, they should put some time into learning how to avoid the myriad of pitfalls available to them in the language. One good book i read, and recently revisited was John Lakos' book Large-Scale C++ Software Design. It's mostly about things that aren't addressed in other works. The chapters on 'levelization' and cyclic dependencies were very enlightening (for me) -- reading them crystallized a bunch of incipient ideas whose existence i was just beginning to be vaguely aware of.

And of course there's still my favorite (when it's the right tool): Python plus pygtk.

i read the piece in the new york metro about lessig's experience...and, shit, man. just, shit, man. that's all i have to say.

carry on.

i do not like spammers using my domain names for spoofing their headers. i do not like my happy domains being associated with such things. i do not like them sam i am.

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