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MathGroup Archive 2012

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Re: PDF.exe inside Mathematica.app on OS X

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  • Subject: [mg127588] Re: PDF.exe inside Mathematica.app on OS X
  • From: awnl <awnl at gmx-topmail.de>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2012 14:58:14 -0400 (EDT)
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> When certain 3D graphics is rendered in Mathematica 8.0.4 on my Mac
> under OS X (10.7.4), I can see from the Mac's Activity Monitor that a
> process PDF.exe is activated. And inside the Mathematica.app package
> there's a file:
>
>
> /Applications/Mathematica.app/SystemFiles/Converters/Binaries/MacOSX-x86-64/PDF.exe
>
>  I thought .exe always referred to a Windows PC executable. What's
> going on here?

Nothing special, on unix-like systems as OS X a "binary executable file" 
can have any file extension you want (or none, which is actually the 
standard convention). To give a binary executable the extension .exe is 
perfectly valid, although somewhat unusual. I think WRI did choose that 
extension to keep things as uniform across platforms as possible, it 
doesn't mean these executables have anything to do with Windows. I 
haven't tried, but I'm sure you can check that they are normal 
executables for your OS.

The interesting thing to note is that many import and export functions 
are actually implemented as external executables running in extra 
processes, presumably connected by Mathlink. That has been the case for 
many versions. In newer versions, some of the export-functions are 
implemented or have been changed to Java, though. And some might be 
implemented "natively", so you won't see such extra processes for all 
available formats. What's not so clear is why the rendering of 3D 
graphics would cause the PDF import/export process to be started...

hth,

albert



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