This is when I find that the massive genius people at Mozilla have taken FTP out of Firefox. I will pour rotten eggs on their heads, all of them.
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Yes. I can also use curl to fetch web pages piping it to lpr and reading the fanfold paper from my chain printer. But like some other people I quite like to click on a link and have the resulting data appear in the window I am looking at. (Sure I am not sure if Firefox's PDF support can convert PS on the fly, but it would have been nice to find out).
> not sure if Firefox's PDF support can convert PS on the fly,
probably not, I think I once tried it. Or was it on Chrome, not sure. Before PDF became popular, papers on the net (= ftp sites) were often in .ps or compressed .ps.Z files. A variant of Firefox that directly supports these (in addition to PDF links, of course) would be cool.
Or for real papers, done the real old way (TeX)... I've sometimes wished browsers would support .dvi files. But that was a while ago, I haven't seen any recently.
I tried suggesting writing a plugin either for those, or for TeX/LaTeX, as a student project when I was working in a university, but nobody took it up.
That would have been an interesting thing. I'm too young to really have used a TeX that made DVI: nowadays I think everyone just uses pdfTeX or something. Pretty sure all maths people use some TeX variant though: nothing comes close for maths really. Also astonishing that a completely modern TeX can format a document written in 1982.
> Also astonishing that a completely modern TeX can format a document written in 1982.
In principle, yes, but if the document relies on macro packages (almost all do, LaTeX being the most popular package), you better have compatible versions of these. I have often come across situations, sometimes with my own documents, where a new versions of TeX + LaTeX cannot handle an old document without tweaks, thanks to changes in the macros.
I don't suppose you've looked closely at what curl does because if you had then you'd notice it has a lot in common with FTP. The entire web ecosystem is based on FTP's ad-hoc framing and control protocol to manage data transfers and access errors.
The problem with "clicking on a link and data appearing in a window" is that its making a lot of assumptions about who or what is clicking on a link and what is going to happen to that data. Since web protocols are being promoted for IoT devices -- a dumb move, IMHO -- the data intended for human eyes only will have to be parsed by less than ideal mechanisms such as those used be EXPECT to manage terminal sessions automatically.
Yes, I do understand that. For me curl is just a version of (nc)ftp which supports more protocols (though I don't think it has the interactive bit that ftp clients have).
Point of what I was saying is that this is in fact a document intended to be read by a human which had a link from another document intended to be read by a human, and it is annoying to me that Mozilla have seen fit to remove support for ftp protocol that would have made that process more simple (probably it would have fallen down because it was PS file anyway, but still it is irritating). Point of mention of curl was sarcastic response to remark by someone implying I was too stupid (or too female, or something) to fetch it by command-line: I am not, I just think it's annoying that mozilla have dropped support for a perfectly good and useful protocol.
I mean the whole thing with PostScript is it's a complete programming language, not just a graphics file format - removing the Turing completeness was one of the points of replacing it with PDF. You'd need a full-on PostScript interpreter running in the browser to guarantee being able to render arbitrary PostScript, and that has security implications etc just as with Java applets back in the day.
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