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I am usually a great fan of evince. It can read any PDF (unlike xpdf, which often fails on modern fancy-formatted documents) and it loads pages really fast. But today ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Gnome imperialism: a gripe


    I am usually a great fan of evince. It can read any PDF (unlike xpdf, which often fails on modern fancy-formatted documents) and it loads pages really fast. But today something happened that annoyed me very much.

    I was reading a document that had links in it, and when I clicked on them, all that happened was that a red bar appeared with the legend "Operation not permitted". Apparently this is a long-recognised bug in evince; it only works properly in a Gnome environment. The recommended solution is either to install the necessary Gnome libraries (specifically libgnomeui, but I bet that brings a lot of other cruft along with it), or use Acroread instead. I don't find either of these options very enticing.

    I tried installing evince-gtk, which is supposed to be evince without the Gnome dependencies. Unfortunately, it still depends on Gnome to open a browser. So I installed epdfview. It's much slower than evince, but it follows links without complaining. In future, I shall use evince as my main PDF viewer, and fall back on epdfview when I need to read a document that contains URLs.

    What I don't understand is why the Gnome people crippled evince like this. I could understand it if this was proprietary software; obviously if you have a killer app, you want to use it to force people to buy the rest of your system. But that kind of thing is not supposed to happen with free software. This bug has been known about for a long time so what would it cost them to alter a couple of lines of code and allow evince to open programs without using Gnome?
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"

  2. #2
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    +1 Hazel. Being a Icewm user. I gotta agree. Which is why I don't use Evince.
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  3. #3
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    AFAIK, the problem you're having and dependency on libgnomeui is solely from calling gnome-open to open the URL. It would be better if they used xdg-open, which is just a bash script that calls either gnome-open, kde-open, exo-open, or tries some generic stuff. (I pasted a copy of the xdg-open script as it is in Arch on pastebin if you want to look.)

    I wonder if you couldn't trick evince by adding your own little gnome-open script in place of the real thing that calls your browser of choice.

  4. #4
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
    I wonder if you couldn't trick evince by adding your own little gnome-open script in place of the real thing that calls your browser of choice.
    Unfortunately that doesn't work. I installed xdg-open and made a link to it called gnome-open, which executed successfully on the command line, but I still got the same error message in evince. Just out of curiosity, I downloaded the evince source code and grepped it thoroughly to see if I could find any explicit call to gnome-open, but there was none.

    I'm dropping it. Life's too short to pursue this sort of problem. Right now I'm up to my ears in ODF wiki editing, which is much more important. I can always use epdfview for the occasional pdf that has links in it.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"

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