New module name? Pod::Pdf2

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Apologies if this is posted to the wrong place. Also posted to the
module list.

I have an almost-publishable module to turn POD into PDF. Pod::Pdf is
rather old, doesn't handle multiple files nicely[1], and is very hard
to extend since it uses neither Pod::Parser nor PDF::API2.

Thinking of calling the module Pod::Pdf2.

[1] I have submitted an updated version to the Pod::Pdf author, to both
publish his =inclue POD extnesion for including multiple files, and to
allow a POD PDF of a (recursed) directory, but wrote the new module in
the week sine.

Re: New module name? Pod::Pdf2

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How about trying to contact the author and see if he's willing to let you
maintain Pod::Pdf? That way you can put your new module into action
without adding another module to CPAN. Especially if it's possible to
support all old methods.

Personally I think that cluttering CPAN with almost similar modules is a
bad idea, even if they are better.

John Bokma          Freelance software developer
                    Experienced Perl programmer:

Re: New module name? Pod::Pdf2

John Bokma wrote:

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I quite agree about cluttering with near-identical modules.

I'm not sure I'd call my module 'better' - rather it is clearer to the
average non-PDF-reader (like myself) since it does not write direct PDF
like Pod::Pdf, but uses the excellent perl interface (PDF::API2). It
also sub-classes Pod::Parser, which makes extension quite easy.

Doesn't that count as additionaly functionality...?

I'd not want to overwrite the existing module, though, it produces such
beautiful output....

Re: New module name? Pod::Pdf2

John Bokma wrote:

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Ironically, about 12 months ago I contacted Alan Fry about just that.  I
had discovered bugs and figured out work-arounds and was hoping that the
module would continue to be developed.  Particularly because I write my
conference talks in POD but often have to present them either as HTML
slides or PDF text.

Mr Fry wrote me with a long history of the development of Pod::Pdf.  Let
me quote a few paragraphs:

"The best approach IMHO is pod2latex plus tex2pdf. A simple 'bash'
script produces a PDF file about as quickly as pod2pdf. Typography is a
matter of opinion, but I reckon LaTeX takes some beating. An added bonus
is of course that there are other '.tex' translators available, for
instance tex2ps/html/text.

"So I really don't know what is best to be done with Pod::Pdf, if
anything, which is basically why I have done nothing for the last few
years. If you can see a way through the maze I would be content for you
to take over the maintenance.
"But I would suggest, before you invest your life in the project you
have a word with Jon Allen and Wybo Dekker (particularly) to see what
they're thinking about to avoid undue duplication. If you do decide to
take it over I would certainly do my best to help."

In other words, he didn't think that Pod::Pdf in its current form was
worth a whole lot of effort.  But he did lay out some direction for its
recuperation.  Since I didn't know a lot about Latex (and still don't),
I felt that I wouldn't have been the best person to tackle the job.

So, if anyone is interested in taking over maintenance, I would
recommend contacting Alan Fry as well as the two others he named.
Contact me off line (jkeenan [at] cpan [dot] org) if you want to read
more of what Fry wrote me.

Thank you very much.
Jim Keenan

Re: New module name? Pod::Pdf2

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But do you think it's possible that your current Pod::Pdf2 module can
replace Pod::Pdf?

If so, I still would recommend to do so. If there is another way, but no
one is willing to pick it up CPAN has an outdated Pod::Pdf which can be
considered dead, and a new Pod::Pdf2, which might become obsolete one day,
and might be very well a better alternative to Pod::Pdf in the mean time.

The nice thing about modules is that the implementation is hidden, so if
Pod::Pdf2 can be made 1:1 compatible interface wise with Pod::Pdf, I would
certainly recommend to consider it an update to Pod::Pdf instead of a new
module that lives along Pod::Pdf.

John Bokma          Freelance software developer
                    Experienced Perl programmer:

Re: New module name? Pod::Pdf2

John Bokma wrote:
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Let's first see what Lee hears from the author of Pod::Pdf.  IIRC, I
simply did a few small bug fixes.  If Lee can do more than that, that
would be preferable.


Re: New module name? Pod::Pdf2

James E Keenan wrote:
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You don't feel you want to take it over yourself, Jim?

My opinion about *a* pod to pdf convertor is that it should not try to
be fast, since this is far from a real-time application. Neither do I
feel latext or any other mark-up/typography system is relevant to a pod
to pdf convertor.

I would very much emphasise that typography is a matter of opinion,
though, and so my own Pod::Pdf2 uses as many user-suppliable variables
as possible, to control the formatting of headings, paragraphs, page
size, content, table of contents: line spacing, font faces and styles.
For my own ease these can be supplied through a script or sub-classing
or as an XML file (love is not too strong a word for my feelings
towards XML::Simple).

My use of a pod to pdf convertor is mainly for project documentation,
which is why I adjusted the current Pod::Pdf to reveal it's internal
"=include" feature, as well as to parse directory trees into a "book."
My problem with it is that it is basically a script turned into a
module in a hurry. It really does need a complete rewrite, since there
are global variables floating around all over the place (ugly, immoral,
and a pain for when I will write my Apache::Pod::Pdf service). There is
no way I could volunteer to properly clean it up and/or maintain it,
since my knowledge of raw PDF is just not good enough, and I currently
cannot justify investing time to improve my knowledge.

Which is why I have taken the PDF::API2 route, and combined it with

Certainly one day I may no longer be available to maintain my
Pod::Pdf2, but I have tried to write clean, clear OO code, and the use
of these two well-known and well-maintained modules would certainly
help anyone else maintain the module.

Anyway, Pod::Pdf2 is available, just not yet on CPAN.  It works nicely,
it is reasonably clean and getting cleaner over the devlopment
itterations. It is quite customisable and getting more customisable. It
also *requires* no more user input than

Different philosophy to Pod::Pdf, though.

I'm rambling and will stop now....Sundays....

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