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The K5 Daily Download PDF

By mikepence in Meta
Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 12:50:21 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

I love Salon.com, and I love K5. One cool thing that comes with Salon's Premium Membership is that you can download daily PDF's of new content, then print 'em out. Nobody cuddles up to a monitor to read, not if they can have zero glare dead-tree copy.

So, this is my proposal: Create a daily K5 PDF file with all of the day's newly published stories on it. Sprinkle it liberally with links to discussions about the story. Drive traffic, make happier users.

I will even go as far as to volunteer to write the code...even if I do have to learn to love Perl.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
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Would you use a daily PDF download feature for K5 content?
o You betcha! 24%
o Nah 62%

Votes: 195
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by mikepence

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The K5 Daily Download PDF | 81 comments (72 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
That's a good idea (3.25 / 4) (#3)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:08:19 PM EST

But I recommend against using Perl. Or at least, if you do use Perl, use it with Java and JNI - The Java APIs have a really sweet class called 'PrinterJob' that would do just the trick for creating the PostScript output.

Not sure about total automation though :(


I prefer Java... (4.33 / 3) (#6)
by mikepence on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:10:15 PM EST

...using non-OOP languages makes my brain hurt.

[ Parent ]
Neat (none / 0) (#68)
by RickySilk on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 08:50:38 AM EST

Thanks for sharing!
kung foo let us waste your time
[ Parent ]
You pretty much *have* to use Perl (4.66 / 3) (#7)
by Erbo on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:11:43 PM EST

That's what Scoop is written in, after all...

But I'll remember this tip if I ever want to put PDF output into Venice, which is written in Java and hence could use this trick directly.

Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

You can combine Perl and Java with JNI (4.50 / 2) (#8)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:15:50 PM EST

And honestly, there should be a way to convert a Kuro5hin page into, say, some simplified data format, or XML, or whatever, already, which could then be fed into a Java program. Really. Model. View. Different things. Honest.


[ Parent ]
Crtl P (1.77 / 9) (#4)
by President Steve Elvis America on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:09:38 PM EST

Or Alt F P. It works directly from the browser, sucka.


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America

Good idea... (3.66 / 3) (#5)
by glip on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:09:48 PM EST

Nicely written, but I'm not sure about the need for it... I know I wouldn't use it. I don't print much off these days.

see the little printer by the title of your story? (4.33 / 3) (#9)
by delmoi on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:17:04 PM EST

Try clicking that. You can also print directly from the web page in your browser, but you'll get the sidebars and stuff as well.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
Gee, thanks... (4.00 / 3) (#10)
by mikepence on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:18:42 PM EST

Instead of having to hunt for the new content in each section, this would gather them into a single file.

[ Parent ]
Readers (4.16 / 6) (#11)
by premier on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:29:06 PM EST

Most active K5 readers prefer to add comments to discussions and be an active part of the K5 community. Downloading the days new content to read offline wouldn't allow them to make comments in the stories, etc.

Yeah, but... (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by rleyton on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:35:33 PM EST

To be honest, I don't always want to comment. Sometimes I just want to read. Downloading the lot, with perhaps a comment rating threshold (>4.5 or somesuch) means I can read in transit on my <<current_pda_of_choice>>, and perhaps think about my comments - In otherwords, it'd be a nice-to-have, and not too bad with the likes of ghostscript pdf writers floating about.

Although, saying all that, firing from the hip is always fun too, after having scanned an article and drawn suitably incorrect conclusions.

Ooooooooooooooh! What does this button do!? - DeeDee, Dexters Lab.
My Website
[ Parent ]

Agreed - and make it payfor content (4.00 / 3) (#13)
by fink on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:33:29 PM EST

Yep, I think this is a good idea (even though I'm generally against the use of dead trees where there's electronic copy available).

However, I'd suggest using this as an "added value" service, and therefore treat it as such - since you don't need such a service to use K5, but it's really nice to have, if you want it, you subscribe, or otherwise give Rusty some money.

Thoughts? Am I a crackpot?

Probably a tad hypocritical on this one, since I can't afford to pay Rusty at the moment myself. Sigh.

Is reading on a monitor really that much worse? (4.50 / 2) (#15)
by jcolter on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:39:19 PM EST

I really do not mind reading on a monitor. I would almost be completely paperless if I did not have to give paper copies of things to people (college being an example).

The average k5 reader I would assume reads a great deal online. Would this really have that much appeal?

[ Parent ]
I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by ry2me on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 08:59:09 PM EST

I don't think the demand for pdfs would be too great to warrent purchasing a subscription. In fact, I think it would work best for people who don't have accounts at all - why login for something that doesn't allow you to comment?

In a related note, perhaps it could be a little button underneath the printer-friendly and hotlist icons on each story? I think that would be pretty cool.

[ Parent ]
You know, (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by davidduncanscott on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 12:25:17 PM EST

I never noticed those little icons. Cool stuff.

[ Parent ]
No. (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by delmoi on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 04:10:07 AM EST

Because then rusty would be selling our content.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
But. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by ambrosen on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 06:03:48 AM EST

What's the difference between this and him (actually K5 inc.) selling subscriptions to what we write on this web page. Or is there actually a difference between paper and electronic media?

Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
MLP (4.00 / 2) (#16)
by baronben on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 06:41:39 PM EST

Whats the point of getting a PDF print out of a 3 line MLP? This could be an interesting idea, but I think that the great thing abour K5 is not the articals, it is the comments.

While K5 features a wide range for well writen articals, my favorite feature is the comments, were people have the chance to critque and comment on the articals, and add their view points to make the article even better.

While PDF's are an interesting idea, I think they miss the point of K5, a community of people who communicate to each other.

Ben Spigel sic transit gloria

good potential .sig (none / 0) (#28)
by quartz on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 08:28:27 PM EST

K5, a community of people who communicate to each other.

If this isn't sig material, I don't know what is...

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
How does K5 look on WAP devices? (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by infinitera on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 07:01:42 PM EST

I'd think having k5 on a PDA/phone should be part of the free stuff, PDFs as part of subscriber thing. Perhaps even have options to generate them with comments, sorted/shown in whichever way you want. Or even with some not visible (if you just wanna read some stuff, to take with you, this would be useful - basically proposing an optional top level thread/comment inclusion/exclusion for each story).

Not at all. (none / 0) (#61)
by ambrosen on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 06:02:20 AM EST

Most WAP devices can't render HTML. Some can, such as those which use Microsoft Mobile Explorer, but in the main, HTML needs to be translated to WAP's WML Markup Language.

Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
I dislike Salon.com a great deal (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by duxup on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 07:05:28 PM EST

However, you're right, K5.pdf would be cool.

Why PDF? (4.00 / 3) (#21)
by Mysidia on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 07:06:54 PM EST

And not .tex (TeX), .ps (postscript) or shoot, XML output, hey that would allow for easy conversion by users to any format they like for reading later: getting one small file in an easily readable, printable format would be very nice.

I don't like PDF files.. they're binary (ie, I can't examine a pdf with an ascii text viewer), hard to convert to a printable format (as-opposed to say postscript where I just pass it through or XML which can be XSLT'ed into html and translated to .ps by the web browser), and PDF documents tend to be large, causing them to take forever to transfer over a dialup connection.

-Mysidia the insane @k5
OT:Why do people hate pdf over PostScript (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by crank42 on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 07:46:24 PM EST

I frequently hear people complain about PDF vs PostScript. But why? They're essentially the same format, and Ghostscript handles them equally well (or badly, depending on your version).

I can see the argument for dvi or LaTeX; but anyone preferring PostScript to PDF seems to me not to know the relevant standards. Or am I completely wrong about this? Some references would be nice.

[ Parent ]

Because (2.00 / 2) (#29)
by Mysidia on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 08:29:36 PM EST

  1. PDF is Adobe's little proprietary format and Adobe is evil (even if they like that it can be viewed on about any system which is good); No it's not nearly as bad as MS Doc format, but still. :)
  2. PDF is an opaque binary file format; without running special (as in more special than a simple ascii viewer or print command) tools on it, it can't be printed or viewed.
  3. PDF files tend to be larger than the corresponding .ps file (although it isn't a fact that they have to be)
  4. My printer does postscript stuff, because it is a postscript printer. I've never heard of a PDF printer, and i've certainly never seen a driver for one.
  5. Postscript and PDF are not the same format, even though it is possible to convert between the two with possible loss of certain things in the conversion
  6. Adobe's acrobat reader is a large piece of software that I don't have and have no plans on taking 2 hours to download, but I can print .ps files just fine:)

-Mysidia the insane @k5
[ Parent ]
response (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by damiam on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 08:58:10 PM EST

1. Postscript is also an Adobe format, and it and PDF are equally well documented.
2. Yeah, but try to view Postscript as ASCII and you won't get much either.
3. Uh... no. PDF files are compressed and are almost always smaller than the corresponding Postscript file. That's why Postscript is usually distributed as *.ps.gz or *.ps.bz2.
4. So? PDF or Postscript can both print on every modern printer.
5. No, they're not the same format, but they're practically very similar.
6. If you use Windows, Acrobat Reader is included on the CD with a good portion of software. If you use a Mac, I think it's installed by default. On Linux, acroread, xpdf, and ghostscript can all display/print PDF and at least one comes with all major distros (I know Debian has all three).

[ Parent ]
Isn't PDF just gzip'ed PostScript? (none / 0) (#35)
by smileyy on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 09:22:36 PM EST

I heard a rumor to that effect once. But I could be on crack.

...alone in suicide, which is deeper than death...
[ Parent ]
No, it's more object oriented PS (none / 0) (#39)
by georgeha on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 10:35:08 PM EST

some of the commands are the same, but a PDF document is organized into classes of pages, page objects, images, etc.

[ Parent ]
Any PostScript Level 3 printer should (none / 0) (#40)
by georgeha on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 10:36:10 PM EST

be able to print a PDF raw, it's in the PostScript Level 3 specs. However, the ones I'm familiar with start in the high five figures.

[ Parent ]
pdf v/s ps. (none / 0) (#32)
by nr0mx on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 09:09:42 PM EST

Good question. Thinking on it, I realize it is because I have seen .pdf files that are password protected, and others that disable printing, and similar such 'features'. Needless to say, I hate this. ( No, lets not go into reasons why ).

I have never seen such .ps files. So, all other things being equal, I definitely prefer .ps over .pdf.

[ Parent ]

pdf more modern, less hackable (none / 0) (#34)
by martingale on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 09:18:34 PM EST

PDF has advantages since it's a more modern version of Postscript. PDF allows hyperlinks for example, which is not the case with Postscript. However, Postscript is a programming language, so when you're downloading a ps file, you're downloading the "source". You can fire up any editor and modify/annotate to your heart's content. You can't do that with PDF.

[ Parent ]
That's the point (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by 90X Double Side on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 09:39:40 PM EST

One of the main reasons PDF was created was because raw PostScript is changeable. One of the main things PDF is used for is prepress. You wouuld send a raw PostScript file to the printers and they would think, "Hmm... we should take out this linebreak and save a page" or something. PDF was created to give the creator control over the document and make sure that it displays exactly the same on every screen and printer (raw PostScript will print the same on any good RIP, but since it's a language, some readers can and have displayed the same PS file differently).

“Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity”
—Alvy Ray Smith
[ Parent ]
No ethical reasons for me (none / 0) (#65)
by gazbo on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 07:27:41 AM EST

I'm a web developer, and I have to say that the pdf format has given me more headaches than anything else. It's not even the internals that bother me, it is the shoddy reader software.


  • After days of confusion, we discovered the reason pdf viewing wasn't working was because the (then prevalent) version of Acrobat Reader refused to display the document if the URL was greater than a certain length (80 chars or so) including GET string.
  • Write a PHP script (should work in any similar language, but only tried with PHP) that reads a PDF file from the server, sends the appropriate headers to the browser to display inline, then sends the data. Save the file as index.html, then visit it with a browser. It won't work. Now rename it to index.anythingbuthtml - it'll work fine. That took a long time to figure out.
  • Currently, given a certain web-server, serving a certain PDF (straight through Apache, no scripting) to a certain set of computers, certain pages of the PDF will not be displayed. Change any one of the variables (even change to a different server still running Apache) and the problem disappears. lynx -source reveals no difference in what is served. I *still* haven't figured this one out. Ideas?

So there we go, no ethical reasons to hate PDFs, just pure hatred through experience.

Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

Copyright Issues (4.75 / 4) (#22)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 07:17:24 PM EST

This could be a good idea, but it seems there would be copyright issues. The FAQ says that K5 has no intention of reprinting stories or comments. Selling them (as this plan effectively would be) would create even bigger problems. I don't think most authors would care, but the occasional one would (at least in theory).

So change the FAQ (none / 0) (#33)
by afree87 on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 09:10:24 PM EST

No problem, we just won't be able to have story archives in {PDF,TEX,etc} form.
Ha... yeah.
[ Parent ]
Offline readers in general... (4.66 / 3) (#24)
by interrupt on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 07:50:40 PM EST

Remember all the offline mail and news readers back in the good ol' days of BBS's? It seems like a similar functionality would be highly desirable for today's web discussion boards (not limited to just K5). It would be beneficial not only to single phone-line folks, but to all low bandwidth users as well. Is there anything like this out there?

Diaries (4.00 / 2) (#25)
by paxus on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 07:57:33 PM EST

It's gotta have the diaries. There are not enough good stories!

"...I am terrible time, the destroyer of all beings in all worlds, engaged to destroy all beings in this world... " - Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita
Call me crazy... (5.00 / 3) (#27)
by codespace on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 08:27:22 PM EST

Don't we already have a plaintext version of this idea? The "Daily Digest", I believe it's called. I receive the digest every day, so I'm fairly sure it exists.

today on how it's made: kitchen knives, mannequins, socks and hypodermic needles.
plain text is ugly (2.50 / 2) (#38)
by Delirium on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 10:24:57 PM EST

It was the best we could do 35 years ago, but by now we can afford to do at least a little bit of formatting.

[ Parent ]
plain text is compatible... (4.00 / 2) (#41)
by codespace on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 10:38:26 PM EST

...with every single operating system on the planet. It's easy on the bandwidth, and fairly easy on the eyes. If we're going to do some form of formatting, why not use HTML? It too is compatible with anything that can view K5, easy to produce, and it would be easier to include an HTML option for digests in Scoop.

PDF is bloated, and unnecessary.

today on how it's made: kitchen knives, mannequins, socks and hypodermic needles.
[ Parent ]
because you can use the web (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by Delirium on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 10:50:18 PM EST

If you want HTML, I'm sure it'd be easy to zip up some static HTML into some gzip/zip/bz2 packages. I'm not saying we shouldn't do that. But PDF is frankly a far better layout system than HTML, and looks nicer. And it's an open standard and can be both created and read on nearly every platform (true, most of the PDF tools are made by Adobe, but that's mostly because nobody else has gotten around to it; latex2pdf is an example of a non-Adobe free tool for UNIX).

[ Parent ]
Perhaps... (4.00 / 2) (#44)
by codespace on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 11:12:12 PM EST

...if PDF were just one of several options, it would be alright. I'm just opposed to bloat for the sake of bloat. Then again, I'm also opposed to the "open-source for the sake of open-source" mentality, so there you go.

today on how it's made: kitchen knives, mannequins, socks and hypodermic needles.
[ Parent ]
Great idea! (1.50 / 2) (#37)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 10:22:59 PM EST

This is just a great idea! Now I just need to put a printer in my bathroom...

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
Printer in bathroom (none / 0) (#56)
by Merkin on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 03:19:21 AM EST

Great idea.

So after you have finished reading the story, you can use the paper to ........


Learn to Improvise

[ Parent ]

Hmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 10:27:59 AM EST

I'm sure there are some K5 trolls who would jump at a chance to 'clean things up' with their favorite weblog. I'll stop now.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Won't really work (3.00 / 1) (#43)
by hardburn on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 10:56:55 PM EST

Salon is primarily a news site. K5 is primarily a discussion site. It really doesn't work to create a printable version when your focus is discussing the article, not just reading it.

That said, I think it would be nice, though, to optionally have a story's text made into a PDF so I can print out something intresting to read on the bus or otherwise idle moments.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

Although... (none / 0) (#49)
by skim123 on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 12:17:51 AM EST

There have been some very good articles (stories) as of late... like the ones on Antarctic Icebergs, The Falklands War, and The Personal Finance trilogy. Granted, I wouldn't want to read one at a time, but if you could create a weekly PDF of all of the front-page (non MLP) stories together, that would just be super.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
But... (none / 0) (#59)
by delmoi on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 04:03:16 AM EST

Why not just print the 'printer' version of the page?
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Because it does not group them (none / 0) (#73)
by skim123 on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 12:06:12 PM EST

Also hitting the printer friendly version implies that I've already read it or know it to be good. What I'd like to see is a weekly "newsletter" that contains the "better" stories grouped together in a few page printout, in columns even, like a newspaper. Yes, I know that this implies someone has to do the rating, perhaps it could be by # of comments or whatnot...

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
meta data (2.00 / 1) (#45)
by sye on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 11:44:55 PM EST

i'm more interested in Meta data. For example, what accounts voted for, voted against or abstained in regards of all postings, published or vanquished, etc. Is it possible to extract this data and maintain it in a database for further 'socialogical' data mining?

commentary - For a better sye@K5
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in

Already there (1.00 / 1) (#63)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 06:52:13 AM EST

In the "Voting Record" box, under the "Related Links" box on the right.
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
but that record is not retrievable (none / 0) (#66)
by sye on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 08:00:29 AM EST

i mean meta data records so that i can apply higher order algorithm on them, not just looking who's on my side.

commentary - For a better sye@K5
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in
[ Parent ]

Tools exist? (repost to Topical) (4.50 / 2) (#47)
by El Volio on Mon Apr 15, 2002 at 11:52:35 PM EST

There's a Perl module called PDF::API2, with several versions including PDF::API2::Lite, a pared-down version just for creating PDF files. While it would certainly be non-trivial, it's very possible to write. More discussion of PDF creation in Perl can be found here.

While I'm not sure how viable/useful it is, it certainly would be a cool project. Then again, PDF is primarily suited for creating pages so that they will have an exact particular layout... If you just want hard copies, the printer icon next to a story title (as others have pointed out) is useful, or if you want to read offline, I think either plain text or HTML (if you want a little more pizazz) are about as cross-platform as it gets.

Reposted as I accidentally submitted it as Editorial, not Topical, and wanted the links to be viewable even after the story gets posted. Sorry!!

My first -1 vote (3.20 / 5) (#48)
by underscore on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 12:06:21 AM EST

Sorry 'mikepence', it's personal but only so far as I try to limit tree carnage and have transcended print to a new level of consciousness :). My dad prints out *everything* and it drives me crazy. A PC for my father is just a tool to access greater amounts of documentation to grind out on the printer. I can't remember when I last used my printer. I think print is just another bad habit left over from the industrial age. End of rant.
a geek possessed of animal cunning
is a most fearsome adversary

Heh, my boss is just like that. (none / 0) (#57)
by delmoi on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 04:02:01 AM EST

Prints out *everything*. He's fucking nuts I sware, he'll have us cut'n'paste memory dumps, program output, XML, source code in to word docs (presumably to print out later) and he prints *Everything* We go through like 2 *reams* of paper a week and the office is like flooded in these stacks and stacks of paper!!!!!

It is absolutly insaine.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
just a note (none / 0) (#81)
by nodsmasher on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 08:50:58 PM EST

if your making a coment that seeses to matter after voting stops making it editorial
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
[ Parent ]
Voting (4.50 / 2) (#50)
by rodoke3 on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 12:56:27 AM EST

A .pdf file of the days stories sounds like a good idea, but there is one aspect you didn't discuss in your proposal. When people are downloading the day's stories(and discussions), they wouldn't be posting whereas when they are reading it on the site they could add to the discussion. Also, how often would you propose updating the .pdf with new discussion links? With every new comment?

Also, I can't speak for anyone else, but if I download this .pdf file with the day's stories, I wouldn't have been able to vote on them. If i had, I would have read the stories in the process. Personally, If I wanted a file of stories I had no hand in helping them to get to the "front page", I would open up a newspaper. Just like someone pointed out before, Salon.com is a news site. If I didn't like this, I would read the stories and vote on them,or lose interest, both of which seem to defeat the purpose of the .pdf file.

Although I can see how this would be a good idea for archival purposes.

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky

update (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by rodoke3 on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 01:01:47 AM EST

The one who noted that Salon.com is a news site is here

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky

[ Parent ]
PDA ? (3.00 / 3) (#52)
by bugmaster on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 01:09:51 AM EST

Actually, I think a better way to go would be to create some sort of an output template (sorry, I have no idea how Scoop works) that formats k5 for PDAs, such as Palm. PDFs are nice and all, but I can't take them on my lunch break while I am waiting for my food (unless I want to lug the laptop around or something). Of course, I can use AvantGo to get k5, but it looks like shit and is impossinble to read on a PDA.

Anyway, just my off-topic $0.02 .

templates (none / 0) (#76)
by hurstdog on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 12:54:07 PM EST

Scoop has templates, its how every page is shown. We already have a pda format template in the works, its undergoing its final little changes, then its good to go. I think it was dram that was working on it. So look for it in a few weeks.

[ Parent ]
Acrobat Reader for Palm (none / 0) (#80)
by Witt on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 11:14:11 AM EST

I quite like Acrobat reader for Palm, actually. It does a pretty good job with all the PDFs I've fed it.

Mind you version 1.0 doesn't yet know about expansion cards, meaning large PDFs either have to be in your device's main memory, or you have to use a hack like MSMount. This might be fixed in the 2.0 beta that's out now.

Trust your technolust
-- Jeremiah
[ Parent ]

I like this idea (4.00 / 2) (#53)
by infraoctarine on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 02:09:08 AM EST

Actually, I'd like a separate pdf for every story, rather than a "daily digest" (of course, they're not mutually exclusive). The reason is that sometimes I find a story is so interresting I'd like to save it, and a pre-formatted pdf would be better than doing a ps-print of the printer-friendly html-version (at least, it could potentially be). There could also be an updated version including the highest-rated replies created say one day after the story got posted.

Sometimes, I just want to save an article for future reference (no, links won't do, I don't trust they will always be there, even on K5), or sometimes I'd like to print it to show someone else; in both cases a nicely formatted pdf would be nice.

Someone noted that salon has pdf files for subscribers. I've also seen that Aces hardware has pdf files of their articles for sale. Maybe this could be a nice extra feature (not really necessary, but nice to have once in a while) available only to subscribers and the story author?

This is trivial with HTMLDOC... (5.00 / 6) (#54)
by bob|hm on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 02:23:07 AM EST

Open Source. Already Existing. Makes PDF from HTML.

I ran this:
# htmldoc --webpage -f kuro5hin.pdf http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/4/15/18147/1649

It gave me this:

HTMLDOC @ EasySW.com


Except (3.00 / 1) (#55)
by Betcour on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 02:53:23 AM EST

That HTMLDOC doesn't support CSS at all, which is a pain for most web site since CSS is now widely used everywhere.

[ Parent ]
Keep your eye on the ball (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 06:59:51 AM EST

Were talking about PDF for kuro5hin, and as you can see from the demo, it works just fine, so whats your point?
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
The way it is (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by Betcour on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 08:31:09 AM EST

Kuro5hin is not formatted for page printing (because frankly, printing is what you aim for when doing PDF). What would be required is a flat layout with articles and unrolled comments below, so one can read all on the same page. Also line breaks should be inserted where it is convenient (and in HTML is only possible thru CSS). If all you want is a direct print of the Web pages as they are now, then right-clic + "print" is enough, why bother with PDF in the first place ?

[ Parent ]
yea good idea! (3.33 / 3) (#58)
by boxed on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 04:03:10 AM EST

lets all print all webpages to paper and cut down all the forests in the world and pollute the seas with bleach-agents!

LCD? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by useful on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 09:01:32 AM EST

Get a flat panel, they are better than paper and they dont have any glare if used correctly. :)

CSS (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by psicE on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 10:44:53 AM EST

One of the new features with CSS2 is that you can use different formats for different media. So, you could say that, on a printed copy, there's no sidebars, the title is at the top left, the text ad is at the bottom right, and the text is in two columns. The page looks the same as it does now on screen, but when you print it, it's correctly formatted for the printer.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/media.html">http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/media.html</a> is a good reference. Perhaps we could use this to make an HTML version of the daily digest that would look nice on screen and on paper.

No existing browsers support this (none / 0) (#72)
by pin0cchio on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 11:04:03 AM EST

One of the new features with CSS2 is that you can use different formats for different media. So, you could say that, on a printed copy, there's no sidebars, the title is at the top left, the text ad is at the bottom right

This is CSS paged media, and as far as I know, the leading web browsers do not support it.

and the text is in two columns.

CSS2 does not support side-by-side columns flowing into each other. CSS3 might, but that's not even a final Recommendation yet.

[ Parent ]
Yes They Do.... (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by beebware on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 12:43:29 PM EST

Well, I know from experience (as I've had to do a 'viewable page/printable page' thingy for our internal intranet) that Microsoft IE 6 at a minimum supports it. I suppose Opera probably does as well, Netscape 7 (if memory serves me right) has some support.
-- Blog: http://blog.beebware.co.uk
[ Parent ]
I'll second that (none / 0) (#79)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 06:55:04 AM EST

Internet explorer has some support for it. Mozilla has better support (not sure how much). But it's enough to do what I need to do....I'm using CSS/HTML/PHP/MySQL to create invoices, that can be printed out an mailed to clients.

The admin can the view download info of the clients. And when it's printed out, it puts in the invoice headers and details, which turns them into invoices, ready to be shoved into an envelope and mailed off.

I think it would easly be possable to set K5 up the same way. Then you wouldn't even have to have a seperate document for printing etc. More open, flexible, less to download. It's about time we tapped into the full potential of CSS.

[ Parent ]

The K5 Daily Download PDF | 81 comments (72 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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