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Showing posts from November, 2009

Djvu vs. Pdf

Long blog again, so here is the executive summary: Djvu files are typically smaller than Pdf files. Why? Can we further compress pdf files? Yes, we can, but the current best solution has limitations. And you can forget all "advanced" commercial solutions. They are not as good as a free solution.


DJVU is a proprietary file format by LizardTech. Incidentally, it was invented by some machine learning researchers, Yann LeCun, Léon Bottou, Patrick Haffner and the image compression researcher Paul G. Howard at AT&T back in 1996. The DJVULibre library provides a free implementation, but is GPLd and hence is not suitable for certain commercial softwares, like Papers, which I am using to organize my electronic paper collection. Hence, Papers, might not support djvu in the near future (the authors of Papers do not want to make it free, and, well, this is their software, their call).
Djvu files can converted to Pdf files using ddjvu, a command line tool which is part of D…

Keynote vs. Powerpoint vs. Beamer

A few days ago I decided to give Keynote, Apple's presentation software, a try (part of iWork '09). Beforehand I used MS Powerpoint 2003, Impress from NeoOffice 3.0 (OpenOffice's native Mac version) and LaTeX with beamer. Here is a comparison of the ups and downs of these software, mainly to remind myself when I will reconsider my choice in half a year and also to help people decide what to use for their presentation. Comments, suggestions, critics are absolutely welcome, as usual. Btw, while preparing this note I have learned that has a native Mac Aqua version of OpenOffice. Maybe I will try it some day and update the post. It would also be good to include a recent version of Powerpoint in the comparison.
StabilityKeynote: Excellent
After a few days of usage, so take this statement with a grain of salt..MS Powerpoint 2003: ExcellentImpress: Poor
Save your work very oftenBeamer: ExcellentCreating visually appealing slides, graphics on slides
Keynote: Excellent