Perl and Python scripts

Example code for similarity thesauri

This example code accompanies my talk Similarity Thesauri and Cross-Language Retrieval.


scanpdf allows you to scan images (using scanimage) and put them into a PDF file. It has a command-line shell, support for macros and for an rc file. It's not perfect, but it's the kind of tool I want to use if I just want to scan something in order to email it to someone else.

It uses the pdflib by Thomas Merz for generating the PDF files.

NOTE: This was my second "serious" perl script ever, so I expect it to contain any number of bugs and to be broken easily. You are welcome to point out the errors to me, or even <gasp!> correct them.

A generator for randomized signatures. It can listen on a FIFO in your file system and stores fortune cookies in the script file.

You can see it in action, with my own collection of signature cookies (not included.)

LaTeX packages and add-ons

These links will take you away from this site to the German CTAN (Comprehensive TeX Archive Network) site For more information about TeX and the CTAN, see .

eco fonts

The eco fonts are an add-on to the popular EC fonts that use oldstyle numerals instead of regular numerals. Oldstyle (or medieval) numerals do not line up on the baseline; they are normally perceived to be more pleasing to the eyes when used in the main text.

The package uses virtual fonts to combine the EC fonts (which provide all the regular characters) and the TC fonts (which provide the oldstyle numerals), using the fontinst package. Full source code (plus a shell script that produces the source code) is included, so it may also be of interest to people who want to know more about manipulating fonts.


The altfont package provides a convenient interface to the different font families on a TeX system; it replaces some parts of psnfss and mfnfss. Instead of calling a different package for every font you want to use, you declare all the fonts using a configuration file altfont.cfg and supply the declared fonts as options to the package, like this:


In the same directory there is the psfont package, which is basically altfont with some PostScript specific add-ons. If you don't know what add-ons, you don't want to use it.


This package uses a picture environment to produce business cards in the American standard size 2"x3.5". It is an adaption of Silvano Balemi's card.sty , a LaTeX2.09 style file for the same purpose. (Though I do have some other ideas for it in the future.)


A PostScript program that generates self-similar curves (including the so-called Koch curves, which include in turn the infamous Koch snowflake.) The fractals are described in the terms of Benoit Mandelbrot's "The Fractal Geometry of Nature".

Not a great program, but an opportunity to show off that I do not only know that PostScript is a programming language (and not only a file format), but that I can even program in PostScript. And if you've never programmed in PostScript, I recommend it highly; it's definitely one of the top-ten interesting programming languages. (Two of the others are SQL and Perl.)

Copyright © 1999--2004 Sebastian Marius Kirsch , all rights reserved.
Id: index.wml,v 1.14 2004/05/19 23:58:30 skirsch Exp