On Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 6:19 AM, Sven Neumann <s...@gimp.org> wrote:
> I don't understand why that is needed. What is our goal here? To create
> PDF files as small as possible? IMO the goal for PDF export should be to
> improve support for professional printing. File size is not important
> for that. Paths are also not important for that. If people need vector
> art, then they should use a vector editor. What matters is color
> profiles, CMYK color separation in the export process, support for spot
> colors, crop marks, ...
> As I said already, we can't discuss the details unless we know what the
> goals are. So we need to have one or more user stories for PDF export
> first. And we need to check these against our product vision to see if
> they are worth supporting.

I see two possible use cases:

1. Proofing artwork - you need to prepare a proof before going to
press.  You send that proof to a client and they print it out and get
a reasonable hard proof.

2. Submission to a printing company - you need to submit hi-res
artwork to a printing company.

For either case to be useful, the PDF export needs to at least
support: CMYK color mode, ICC profiles, spot colors, trim marks, crop
area, and bleed area.  Embedding or outlining (vector) fonts,
registration marks, encryption, and downsampling of image/photo layers
could possibly be useful.

That being said, both use cases would only come about when setting up
a full-color job (CMYK, etc.) - and it is very likely that the
printing company would accept (and perhaps prefer) a hi-res raster
format like TIFF, PNG, or JPEG.  I submit PDFs all of the time for
proofing and printing but 90% are pure vector, 9% are vector with
embedded bitmap images, and only the remaining 1% are completely
raster (I've used at least one printing company that accepts pdf

IMHO: Attempting to redraw solid colors as vector would not be a good
idea .  File size is not really a concern - creating PDFs that print
in a reliable manner and are as accurate as possible would be the main
challenge.  If GIMP comes to support vector layers at some point, then
an option to rasterize those layers or keep them as vector should be
presented at the time of PDF export.  Multi-page is not something that
GIMP should worry about at all - there are plenty of tools to join
PDFs already, and multi-page documents are more the domain of page
layout software.

PDF export might be a nice feature, but as a designer I would not use
it very often.  If I did use it, I would expect it to be *extremely*
reliable, and quite verbose about any errors before or during export.

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