a2ps output incompatible with Adobe distiller

Michael Williams williams at astro.ox.ac.uk
Tue Feb 27 04:20:23 PST 2007


as described on
http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.printing.a2ps.bugs/2583, there is a
bug in a2ps that makes its postscript output incompatible with Adobe's
distiller (and therefore OS X's Preview.app and its printing system). 

e.g. do:

$ sudo port install a2ps 
$ echo "Test text" >> test.txt
$ a2ps -o test.ps test.txt

Then either open test.ps in Preview.app or run 

$ pstopdf test.ps

Which results in the error:

%%[ Error: undefined; OffendingCommand: iso1dict; ErrorInfo: CharOffsets %%[ Flushing: rest of job (to end-of-file) will be ignored ]%%
%%[ Warning: PostScript error. No PDF file produced. ] %%
pstopdf failed on file test.ps with error code -31000

Shorter, less useful errors with the same origin result if you open
test.ps in Preview.app or send a2ps's output straight to printer (omit
-o test.ps).

That post includes a fix, which I've applied (post-installation) to my
MacPorts a2ps installation and confirmed working.

a2ps itself is currently without a maintainer, so it seems unlikely that
the proposed fix (or any other) will be picked up for inclusion in the
gnu tree any time soon. 

The a2ps port is also without a maintainer. Since this is a bug which
makes a2ps of extremely limited use on OS X, is the fix worth including
in MacPorts? I am completely new to MacPorts (migrated from Fink a week
ago), so I am certain that someone more experienced could add this patch
to the a2ps Portfile in five minutes. If no one has the time, I'd be
happy to take a look at what's involved myself (pointers welcome).

-- Mike

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