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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: PDF Support?

  1. #1

    PDF Support?

    Does Weasyl intend to implement PDF support for literary submissions at any point in the near future? I am quite disappointed to find that FurAffinity is the only place my writings can be uploaded.

  2.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #2
    I'd like to get a better understanding of your desire to use PDFs. What does PDF offer you that other formats, such as RTF don't? And are you simply looking for a "click to download PDF" option or for the text of the file to be converted and displayed in-line?

    Tell me about how you'd like to use this, and I'll see if we can get your use case supported.

  3. #3

    Here's my explination

    I come from an editing background, and I produce all of my stories fully typeset so that they are as beautiful to read as pictures are to see. To achieve this, I write in the LaTeX language (not Word or Wordpad or another document editor). This level of typesetting means I can only effectively convert with any ease and functionality to .dvi, .ps, and .pdf. (I am not asking for .dvi or .ps support, those are specialized printing formats only.)

    As examples see:
    http://www.furaffinity.net/view/9891954/ (SFW, Poem)
    http://www.furaffinity.net/view/9763531/ (Very NSFW, Novelette, Disturbing Themes)
    http://www.furaffinity.net/view/9901224/ (NSFW, Recent commission, Tame Themes)

    To help explain why RTF and TXT are not options, here is what the last example looks like (some truncation) before being compiled:
    Code:
    \documentclass[letterpaper,10pt,doubleside,twocolumn]{article}
    
    %\usepackage[oldstyle]{kpfonts}
    \usepackage[osf]{mathpazo}
    \usepackage{hyperref}
    \usepackage{lettrine}
    \usepackage{microtype}
    \usepackage{pifont}
    
    \newcommand{\asterism}{{\footnotesize \smash{% 
        \raisebox{-.2ex}{% 
          \setlength{\tabcolsep}{0.5pt}%
          \begin{tabular}{@{}cc@{}}% 
            \multicolumn2c*\\[-1.5ex] *&*% 
          \end{tabular}}}}}
    
    \newcommand{\runbreak}{
    \begin{center}
    	~\asterism~
    \end{center}}
    
    \newcommand{\finbreak}{
    \begin{center}
    	~{\huge \ding{166}}~
    \end{center}}
    
    \newcommand{\censure}{---\kern-.05em---}
    
    \begin{document}
    \title{Pachyderm Professor's Pet Pupil} %Put in title
    \author{\href{http://www.furaffinity.net/user/irbisgreif/}{Irbisgreif}}
    \date{for \href{http://www.furaffinity.net/user/OrangeBunnie/}{OrangeBunnie}} %put in commissioner's name
    \maketitle
    
    \renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\fnsymbol{footnote}}
    
    \renewcommand{\abstractname}{Description}
    
    %describe the story here
    \abstract{\textsc{Done for \href{http://www.furaffinity.net/user/orangebunnie}{OrangeBunnie}, this} text tells the tale of Dr. Slonskij and his decision to seduce and sleep with one of his students. It was reasonably fun to write, and I'm glad he decided to commission me again now that my writing skills are far improved from \href{http://www.furaffinity.net/view/9763467/}{Snake's Rabbit}! The age difference from professor to student is only around 10 years, so don't get too creeped out, just imagine that both persons are 21--31. The professor wears suspenders and a waistcoat because---\textsc{God}-d\censure n!---it's important to look good!}
    
    %Begin story with lettrine w/ lines=3
    %Begin sections with lettrine w/ lines=2
    
    \runbreak{}
    
    \section{SECULUM$\cdot$LAPIDEAS}
    \lettrine[lines=3,ante={``}]{I}{n this respect, the} work of John Green\footnote{\href{http://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse}{Crash Course} is an excellent overview of world history, and also of Biology, Literature, \textsc{us} History, Chemistry, and more.} on-line is to be respected and supported, my previous complaints about YouTube as a medium for education notwithstanding.''
    What I am hoping for is the ability to upload PDFs so that viewers can see a submitted file, open it, and see the typeset work I have produced.

    My entire commissioning business is predicated on my stories being both well written and looking professionally done, allowing them to compete aesthetically with artists. It is very difficult---in my experience---for draft quality (text document) writing to compete with final quality artwork on an equal footing. However, I have found that final quality PDFs compete favourably with artists who are similarly able to complete their work.

    I have been extremely concerned over switches to Weasyl (and other non-pdf supporting sites) as a result of text-only support, as sites like this seem to be moving towards supporting artists but not writers. I do not intend to accuse you or the remainder of the Weasyl team, only to explain my concerns and fears as a commission writer.

    I am aware that this affects a small subset of writers, but those it does affect (such as myself) would be devastated by a text-only approach to literature. As I have explained in private and to friends on other sites, a mass exodus to Weasyl in it's current state would be a death knell for my work as a writer.
    Last edited by Irbisgreif; 02-14-2013 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Grammar error

  4.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #4
    there's an even better technical solution: add LaTeX support to weasyl, so submissions can be .tex files. it's definitely something that I'm thinking about while fixing up the literature submission system in general.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by weykent View Post
    there's an even better technical solution: add LaTeX support to weasyl, so submissions can be .tex files. it's definitely something that I'm thinking about while fixing up the literature submission system in general.
    This would make me happy beyond my wildest dreams of even getting PDF support. (Mostly, I'd be concerned about some of the less common or format-specific packages causing issues or conflicting, but I'd still be happy even if it meant dropping my beloved mathpazo.sty, microtype.sty, or hyperref.sty.)

  6. #6
    The ability to upload an arbitrary file would be good, that way authors can upload a pdf,doc, docx, rtf, ebook, epub or anything they wanted.

    Full support for latex... thats interesting!

  7.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DragonTalon View Post
    The ability to upload an arbitrary file would be good, that way authors can upload a pdf,doc, docx, rtf, ebook, epub or anything they wanted.

    Full support for latex... thats interesting!
    I don't think I could condone "arbitrary files", for one because weasyl isn't a file sharing site, but for two because it's just not a good user experience to have the submission page be just "this user uploaded some crap we can't do anything with! you have to download it!"

    having a lot of supported file formats would probably remove the need for posting 'arbitrary' files. I'm definitely not trying to say that this is something that will get done (and especially not soon), but it's something I'm definitely thinking about while I'm doing weasyl dev.

  8. #8
    While plans are what they are (tenative at best), do you have any idea when we might see the ability to submit files other than text? Is this something that might appear in a few days, a few weeks, or is this more likely to be something we will see in a few years?

    EDIT:
    I am asking because I intend to transition fully to Weasyl if this is implemented.
    Last edited by Irbisgreif; 02-17-2013 at 04:27 AM. Reason: Clarification

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by weykent View Post
    I don't think I could condone "arbitrary files", for one because weasyl isn't a file sharing site, but for two because it's just not a good user experience to have the submission page be just "this user uploaded some crap we can't do anything with! you have to download it!"

    having a lot of supported file formats would probably remove the need for posting 'arbitrary' files. I'm definitely not trying to say that this is something that will get done (and especially not soon), but it's something I'm definitely thinking about while I'm doing weasyl dev.
    As a writer, I am very familiar with the pitfalls of reading documents online. You have sites with good support like SoFurry, and sites like FurAffinity with nearly unreadable story formatting. (Those are best and worst cases right there!) Unlike a picture which is pretty simple, just show it, reading a story might take half an hour or more of staring at the screen, and that is when PDF and Doc files come in handy. Depending on the person and the display being read on, be it a computer display or tablet or phone, people will have different needs. Some people want high contrast, some will need larger text sizes, some people find certain fonts easier to read.

    Converting rich text formats from one to another is NEVER easy and always tends to produce ugly code if not fiddles with by hand. Not to mention some formats like PDF simply can't be converted into a Doc or HTML.

    What about allowing Doc and PFD and other text files to be uploaded, and displaying them embeded in the browser?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DragonTalon
    What about allowing Doc and PFD and other text files to be uploaded, and displaying them embeded in the browser?
    IIRC, doesn't Adobe require payment before you can embed PDFs?

    -----

    Quote Originally Posted by weykent View Post
    I don't think I could condone "arbitrary files", for one because weasyl isn't a file sharing site, but for two because it's just not a good user experience to have the submission page be just "this user uploaded some crap we can't do anything with! you have to download it!
    The alternative risks being "The user wants to upload some crap we won't accept! You have to follow a link to another site and download it." if a common file format (pdf and doc being the biggest ones I can think of) is not supported.
    Last edited by Irbisgreif; 02-17-2013 at 10:40 PM. Reason: Making Legible

 

 

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