[Trisquel-users] PDF proof read and printing annotations

Adonay Felipe Nogueira adfeno at hyperbola.info
Mon Dec 4 15:12:49 CET 2017


I also had (and I'm still having) to write my Bachelor's degree final
work using both Emacs Org mode, LaTeX, and PGF/TikZ, and so far I'm
being very successful.

For all the suggestions I assume that: we *won't* resort to any wizardry
in order to convert LaTeX to DOC nor to ODT. Let's keep things simple,
shall we?

Besides, this message assumest that you use a revision/version control
system and has a repository in a public repository hosting provider or
in a repository that is accessible by the receiver/person (either
publicly or through authentication) and assuming of course that the
receiver/person will be informed as to where the repository is and how
to access it.

Also, don't put binary files --- which includes some image files and
also document files (like PDF, DOC and ODT) --- under revision/version
control systems, although it *might* work, you can't diff between
revisions by default without loosing quality or some data.

Don't forget to read the last paragraphs of this message, they have a
continuation of the suggestions.

Now continuing, here are some suggestions:
 
a) if the person accepts only PDF and doesn't want to use
   revision/version control systems, then I advise you to use diffoscope
   to compare a PDF you sent previously against the current one and send
   the new PDF and the diffoscope HTML output by email to that
   person. Be aware that:

   - HTML output isn't default for diffoscope;

   - PDFtk is needed for comparing PDF files;

   - one needs to tell diffoscope to not limit the maximum diff block
     lines (using something like `--max-diff-block-lines 0');

   - unfortunatelly diffoscope has no way of filtering what insert in
     the output. This means that, after making the HTML output, you have
     to remove needless comparisons made in the end otherwise the HTML
     will be huge. Currently, diffoscope does two-pass diffs in PDFs,
     one comparing only the text, and other comparing the most intermal
     parts of the PDFs.

   Be aware on recognizing when a person resists using revision/version
   control systems, which is mostly an issue because no basic college or
   university classes are talking about these nowadays, although these
   software save us some troubles. Sometimes the person will understand
   the reasoning and try to use it, but others might not --- the problem
   is when these latter type of people *don't* tell you anything, so you
   would normally be confused into thinking that "they can just
   clone/fetch and see the diffs", when they are actually waiting for
   the "next huge DOC/ODT file with manually marked changes" again. ;)

   Furthermore, as far as I can tell, diffoscope is unable to do diffs
   in images that are inside PDFs, at least in a graphically visible
   way. I once heard that ImageMagick can do this, but I don't know how
   to use it yet.

b) if the person doesn't use revision/version control system but has a
   text editor or viewer that is able to highlight the diff file
   contents: get the diff between the revision that was last sent to the
   person and the new revision and send it.

   The same particularities for binary comparison noted in the item
   above apply here too. Of course some image files and document files
   (DOC, ODT and PDF) are also binary so, this is why my suggestion in
   the beginning is important.

c) if they are used to revision/version control systems and use it, then
   nothing must be done, just keep working. Notes on binary files
   (images included) also apply here, but this time it's more easier for
   the person to compare because the person can just fetch older version
   and diff against the current one using diffoscope or ImageMagick (if
   they really want to).

In all cases where binary files (including images) are involved, the
revision subject+message made by you will save both you and the receiver
lots of time looking for differences manually, just make sure to write
these messages as detailed as possible. ;)

Finally, if the person received a PDF, that person can use a PDF viewer
that is able to put markers and comments/annotations inside the files. I
didn't test this yet, but I believe Evince can write these. I know for a
fact that Evince from Trisquel supports reading such markers and
comments/annotations. If the person receives a diff file and don't use
the revision/version control system, then they can simply comment ---
and optionally include the important parts in-line with their reply so
as to make it easy for you to spot the related part.

I hope these suggestions are found to be helpful. ;)

This ends the most important part of the message.

Optionally, you can see my final work (in progress) at
<https://notabug.org/adfeno/Trabalho_sobre_gestao_universitaria>. It's
currently written in Brazilian Portuguese and talks about the importance
of free/libre software *philosophy* in university management and in the
teaching-learning process.

2017-12-04T10:38:34+0100 jbahn at mykolab.com wrote:
> I am in the final stage of writing my phd thesis. I have been able to
> do my research and writing almost entirely by use of open source and
> to a large extent freedom respecting software.
>
> There are quite a lot of challenges in that, but most are overcome
> with vast searches, patience and not least stubbornness. I use LaTeX
> for writing and when communicating with peer reviewers and my
> supervisor, pdf is the format.
>
> But I cannot find a tool to let me view or print a given article with
> annotations not to mention to accept/reject comments and corrections.
>
> I have been looking and looking but I can't find it. So, maybe there
> isn't one such tool. Still I want to ask you, fellow trisqueleers:
>
> Is there a way/tool to
> - a) view pdfs with their annotations, and/or
> - b) print pdfs with their annotations, and/or
> - c) accept and reject suggested changes?
>

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