Unreadable PDF archive files

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Unreadable PDF archive files

Postby DavidMcCann » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:26 pm

I've just subscribed to Linux Format and eagerly headed over to the archives to look at some old articles. Every pdf file I've tried from Issue 113 onwards has failed to display :evil:

I can see the pictures: it's just the text that is missing. In case it was an Evince problem, I've tried BePDF under Haiku. That had the same problem, but did come up with an explanation of sorts: a slew of error messages for every failed file saying

Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMap

What can I do? Or, what can Linux Format do?
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Postby M-Saunders » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:05 am

Hi David,

There have been occasional problems with PDF readers that use libpoppler, as that library seems to be in constant flux. I'm not sure if BePDF uses it. Could you please try Adobe Reader? (I know it's hideously slow and bloated, but it is the 'standard' and might help us to identify what's going on.)

I've tried a few PDFs from 113 on my Linux box here, and they work fine. The software:

* Xpdf 3.02
* Evince 2.28.1
* libpoppler4 0.10.5 (seems to be the one Evince is using)
* libpoppler5 0.12.0

Perhaps your PDF readers are using the newer version of libpoppler.

Cheers,
Mike
Last edited by M-Saunders on Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby nelz » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:54 am

They work here in okular, using libpoppler 0.12.4, which is the latest stable release.
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Postby DavidMcCann » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:37 pm

I've been using Evince 2.24 and I've just tried Xpdf 3.02, with no luck. I've also tried importing into OpenOffice Draw, and that can't see the text either.

If three programs fail, then I'd say the blame's on you! For a Linux magazine to tell me that I can't use open source software is ridiculous!
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Postby nelz » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:51 pm

Calm down, no one has said you can't use open source software I've not read them with anything but). However, your version of Evince is outdated, have you tried a later version?
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Postby M-Saunders » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:18 pm

DavidMcCann wrote:If three programs fail, then I'd say the blame's on you! For a Linux magazine to tell me that I can't use open source software is ridiculous!


Erm, nobody said that! In fact I said before that Evince and Xpdf work on my Linux box -- those are open source pieces of software. The PDFs are generated by Adobe software and work on PDF readers that support the specs properly. It is not remotely our fault if the libpoppler developers break it from version to version!

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Postby DavidMcCann » Sat May 01, 2010 8:36 pm

The plot thickens! In the archive of issue 131, some pdfs can be read - e.g. sysadmin - but some can't - e.g. hotpics. Also, they are not always even identified as pdfs; gnome-open thinks some are text files, and reports others as unknown file type.
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Postby DavidMcCann » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:57 pm

I have just tried these pdfs with Debian Lenny, using Xpdf 3.02, and they don't work there either.

The pdfs in the cover disks are all readable, so the problem clearly lies with the generation of pdfs from the article texts. I don't see why I should have to download Adobe's software just for Linux format, when Xpdf and Evince work with everything else, and I'm not impressed with your take-it-or-leave-it attitude.
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Postby nelz » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:24 pm

Instead of resurrecting an old thread just to throw insults, please provide some useful information. Run xpdf, or whichever viewer you are having trouble with, from a terminal and you should get some useful error output when it fails. Post the exact output, don't try and guess which parts are relevant.

Incidentally, in the almost three months since you last posted, I have been continuing to read these PDFs quite regularly, using only open source software.
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