Re : Re: Rewrite from the ground up of the Ghostscript PDF interpreter

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at
Tue May 25 20:49:09 CEST 2021

Le 25 mai 2021 à 18:32, Bob Tennent <rdtennent at> a écrit :

> Artifex already distribute mupdf, a very fast PDF viewer
> written in C. How will this be different?

I can't really say.

My impression was that MuPDF was more aimed at mobile devices (phones and tablets) and at viewing not manipulating the PDF files, but last I used it was several years ago so I'm not sure.

Also, last I tried to compile it, muPDF had several dependencies while Ghostscript has practically none: for MacTeX we basically compile Ghostscript with just ./configure --disable-compile-inits && make on a Mac with only macOS, XQuartz and nothing else, and that's it.

For muPDF, <> seems to say there are more dependencies for the X11 and OpenGL viewers. But again, it's been a very long time since I last tried compilation, so things may have changed.

I don't know whether the folks at Artifex have some convergence in mind, like replacing the PDF interpreter in Ghostscript by one based on the PDF interpreter from MuPDF. The page <> says nothing on the matter, it rather insist (see the "What's New?" section) that the new C-based interpreter will maintain compatibility with the existing PostScript-based interpreter.

Also, the aim may be to have a family of stand-alone interpreters Ghostscript, GhostPCL, GhostXPS and GhostPDF, all based on the same underlying library within GhostPDL. I occasionally use GhostXPS myself when receiving (very rarely) the odd XPS file.

Bruno Voisin

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