History of Ghostscript versions 1.n

Table of contents

This document is a history of Ghostscript releases numbered 1.n. For more recent changes, see the the other history documents and, for the latest versions, the news:

History of Ghostscript versions 4.n
History of Ghostscript versions 3.n
History of Ghostscript versions 2.n
History of Ghostscript versions 1.n (this document)

For other information, see the Ghostscript overview.

Version 1.3 (6/20/89)

This release should have had a lot more things in it, but time pressure and the already long delay in getting it out made it necessary to push it out the door in an incomplete state (e.g., no testing on X systems whatsoever).


Makes -d and -D equivalent on the command line. Adds a new switch -s / -S that defines a name as a string rather than a token. Arranges things so that if -sLIB=_a_prefix_ is defined on the command line, (filename) run will look for _a_prefix_filename before giving up if filename isn't the name of an accessible file. Changes showpage from an operator to a procedure. The definition of showpage in ghost.ps does a copypage, beeps the console, waits for the user to type a character (normally a <return>, since line buffering is always enabled), and then does an erasepage and an initgraphics. Adds a new initialization file, gdevs.ps, containing device-dependent parameters. The default window size for X Windows is properly set to 612 x 792, i.e., 8.5" x 11". Adds a new optional initialization file, statusd.ps, that provides dummy definitions for the names found in statusdict on LaserWriters. Adds a new operator, getenv, to get information from the shell environment. Adds a new predefined operator, defaultdevicename, that returns either (X) or (EGA) according to how the interpreter was built. Adds a new type, devicetype, and new operators deviceparams, getscanlines, makedevice, makeimagedevice, and setdevice. Changes currentdevice to return a device object rather than a set of parameters. Makes the scanner recognize reals with 'e' exponent notation, and handle reals with more than 9 digits. Fixes a bug that made names starting with digits read incorrectly. Fixes a bug in the exp operator that made it not pop its first argument from the stack. Fixes a bug in the rand operator that made it return negative values about half the time. Fixes a bug in equality comparison (eq, ne, and several other operators) that made unequal operator objects occasionally appear to be equal on DOS systems. Fixes a bug in the bind operator that made it not work on packed arrays. Changes the internal representation of dictionaries so they can be expanded or contracted dynamically. Adds a new operator, setmaxlength, to change the allocated size of a dictionary. Changes sstorei.h so that non-DOS compilers don't encounter the #pragma directive used by Turbo C. Restores the display mode (on MS-DOS systems) when exiting.


Makes undefined characters in the standard font display as tilde rather than blank (or causing an error). Unmapped character codes (those mapped to .notdef in the encoding) still display as nothing, per the PostScript manual.


Adds a new header file, gxbitmap.h, with some new documentation describing the internal storage format for bitmaps. Makes numerous internal changes in the character / font cache, affecting many of the routines in gxcache.c. Fixes a bug in gz_draw_line / gz_fill_trapezoid that made nearly horizontal lines display wrong. Fixes a bug in gs_scale that made scaling not work if the coordinate system was rotated or skewed. Extends the font cache so it will handle characters rotated by multiples of 90 degrees. Changes the second argument of gx_path_bbox and gx_path_is_rectangle to be a gs_fixed_rect * rather than a fixed [4]. Changes gs_matrix_rotate so it handles multiples of 90 degrees as a special case. Changes the definition of the gx_device structure to accommodate the new device operators, and adds corresponding library calls. Changes the type for a device color index from int to gx_color_index (equivalent to unsigned long). ***NOTE***: this affects existing clients and drivers in a non-trivial way on MS-DOS systems. Changes gs_malloc and gs_free to take a client name string as an argument.

Usage procedures

Changes the compilation rules for Unix systems to not use the -o and -c compiler flags together, to be compatible with more versions of cc. Changes the gcc makefile to use $(GCC) rather than gcc as the compiler name. Moves the -1 flag for the MS-DOS compiler from the cc*.bat files to the makefile. Changes CCDEBUG to CCFLAGS, and adds ASMFLAGS, in DOS makefile. Adds -DFOR80386 and /DFOR80386 to enable use of 80386 instructions in assembly code on DOS systems. Merges the DEBUG and gs_DEBUG switches. There is now only a single DEBUG switch that affects both the interpreter and the library. Adds a new compilation switch, -DNOPRIVATE, that makes private (static) variables and procedures public for debugging and profiling (only needed on DOS systems). Adds the DOS executable (gs.exe and gs.map) to the distribution fileset. Adds new platform-specific code files, gp-*.c, for a few things like reading the clock. Adds a new documentation file, drivers.doc, that describes the interface between Ghostscript and device drivers.

Version 1.2 (2/22/89)


Adds the new facilities in version 25 of PostScript: //name for immediate lookup, packed arrays (setpacking, currentpacking, packedarray operators), and new font cache parameters (setcacheparams, currentcacheparams operators). Adds new operators (setfileposition, currentfileposition) for random access to files. Extends readhexstring to take either a string or a file, just like token. Fixes a bug that caused the 'for' operator (and a couple of others) to randomly smash memory locations on PC platforms.


Renames the init_device driver procedure as open_device, and adds a corresponding close_device. Adds new procedures to read and set the cache limit values (implementing the currentcacheparams and setcacheparams operators).

Usage procedures

Changes the name of the Unix makefile to ux-cc-x.mak, and adds a new Unix makefile, ux-gcc-x.mak, for using gcc instead of cc. (The latter doesn't actually work yet.) Changes the name of the single built-in font from uglyfont.cp to ugly10.cp.

Version 1.1 (2/12/89)


Makes the scanner treat ^Z (ASCII code 26) as whitespace: it erroneously treated ^R (ASCII code 22, or octal 26) as whitespace. Makes the token and readline operators, and the syntax for comments, recognize \r (code 13), \n (code 10), and \r\n as equivalent end-of-line indicators. The token and readline operators will skip over any of these sequences at the end of a token or line respectively, and a comment will read through any of these sequences. The other file operators (read, write, readstring, writestring) do nothing special with these characters. Changes the debug switch name from -D to -Z. Adds a -D switch for defining names in systemdict from the command line. Defines -DDEBUG for printing out debugging information during initialization, and -DNODISPLAY for suppressing display output. Corrects a bug that prevented the error machinery from working -- in version 1.0, errors always dumped the stacks and aborted interpretation. Corrects a bug that made eq and ne not work for strings. Makes the atan (arctangent) operator normalize its results according to the PostScript convention. Makes the div operator check for zero divisor. Makes unimplemented operators (resetfile, echo, save, restore, strokepath, reversepath) truly undefined. Makes the interactive loop exit gracefully on end-of-file: in version 1.0 this caused an infinite loop. Implements the status operator. Corrects a bug that made the 'for' operator deliver garbage values if one or more of the operands (start, increment, end) was a real. Corrects a bug that made the arc and arcn operators not pop their operands from the stack. Corrects a bug that made the kshow operator crash the interpreter. Corrects a bug that made the print operator fail on machines that don't pass structure arguments by simply pushing the contents of the structure. Adds a new operator, imagecharpath, to convert images to addcharpath-compatible outlines. Changes alloc and alloc_free to use char * rather than byte *, and alloc_free to return void rather than int, making them compatible with the library's expectations and with malloc/free. Explicitly casts all expressions of the form (ptr1 - ptr2) used as procedure arguments to unsigned, to handle an incompatibility between Turbo C versions 1.5 and 2.0. Changes some of the internal conventions for operators: operators that push on the operand stack must check for overflow explicitly, and operators that modify the execution stack must return a special code. (See oper.h for details.)

Initialization (ghost.ps, gfonts.ps)

Modifies ghost.ps and gfonts.ps so they print debugging information only if the name DEBUG is defined. (Presumably the user will set this from the command line with -DDEBUG.) Changes ghost.ps so it initializes the nominal screen size to 640 x 350 on MS-DOS systems as before, but to 612 x 792 on Unix systems, which is an 8.5" x 11" page at 72 pixels per inch.


Corrects a bug that made the fill and eofill operators (gs_fill and gs_eofill) not perform a newpath afterward. Corrects the bug that made thin, nearly horizontal lines display wrong (as a series of disconnected dots) in the MS-DOS implementation. Fixes a bug in the EGA driver that often made it fill rectangular regions with black around information being displayed in white. Completely changes the internal representation of outline fonts, and changes btoi.ps (a Ghostscript language program for converting bitmaps to outlines) to use a new library call, gs_imagecharpath. Changes the extension for outline font files from .gf to .cp. Adds a new debugging switch, q, that traces all rectangle fill operations. Adds a new debugging switch, v, that traces all device-level output calls. Explicitly casts pointer differences passed as procedure arguments, as in the interpreter. Makes stringwidth work if there is no current point. In version 1.0, this gave a nocurrentpoint error.

Usage procedures

Changes the name of the 'read me' file from READ.ME to README. Removes a bogus line (invoking the 'mcopy' utility) from the makefile. Splits up the makefile into a generic part (ghost.mak) and platform-specific parts (dos-ega.mak, unix-x11.mak). The latter are what is actually executed. Puts the definitions of the DEBUG and gs_DEBUG compilation flags into the makefile instead of in ghost.h and gx.h respectively. Changes the names of the documentation files to be a little less cryptic. Changes all the file names to lower-case in the documentation. Adds installation information to make.doc. Changes all function definitions (but not prototype declarations) to ANSI syntax, and adds a preprocessing step (ansi2knr) to convert them to K&R syntax on Unix systems. Changes the normal MS-DOS link configuration to not assume the presence of an 80x87 coprocessor, and describes how to increase performance if a coprocessor is present. Changes the names of all the interpreter .c files, except stream.c, to begin with 'i'.

Version 1.0 (8/11/88)

First version released to the public.

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998 Aladdin Enterprises. All rights reserved.

This file is part of Aladdin Ghostscript. See the Aladdin Free Public License (the "License") for full details of the terms of using, copying, modifying, and redistributing Aladdin Ghostscript.

Ghostscript version 6.0, 3 February 2000