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Adobe To Release Full PDF Specification to ISO 275

Posted by Hemos
from the big-changes-in-the-text-world dept.
nickull writes "Adobe announced it will release the entire PDF specification (current version 1.7 ) to the International Standards Organization (ISO) via AIIM. PDF has reached a point in its maturity cycle where maintaining it in an open standards manner is the next logical step in evolution. Not only does this reinforce Adobe's commitment to open standards (see also my earlier blog on the release of flash runtime code to the Tamarin open source project at Sourceforge), but it demonstrates that open standards and open source strategies are really becoming a mainstream concept in the software industry. So what does this really mean? Most people know that PDF is already a standard so why do this now? This event is very subtle yet very significant. PDF will go from being an open standard/specification and de facto standard to a full blown de jure standard. The difference will not affect implementers much given PDF has been a published open standard for years. There are some important distinctions however. First — others will have a clearly documented process for contributing to the future of the PDF specification. That process also clearly documents the path for others to contribute their own Intellectual property for consideration in future versions of the standard. Perhaps Adobe could have set up some open standards process within the company but this would be merely duplicating the open standards process, which we felt was the proper home for PDF. Second, it helps cement the full PDF specification as the umbrella specification for all the other PDF standards under the ISO umbrella such as PDF/A, PDF/X and PDF/E. The move also helps realize the dreams of a fully open web as the web evolves (what some are calling Web 2.0), built upon truly open standards, technologies and protocols."
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Adobe To Release Full PDF Specification to ISO

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  • ISO approved PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xymor (943922) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:05AM (#17798304)
    Is this a nail in the MS XML coffin?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nbritton (823086)
      "Is this a nail in the MS XML coffin?"

      ISO/IEC 26300:2006 (OpenDocument Format) was the first nail.
    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      Likely they did it because they knew if they didn't, then microsofts format would possibly beat them to the punch. After all many other things were de-facto standards before microsoft got interested and destroyed them.

      I like pdf, and see no reason to use another format for tasks I'd use a pdf for, personally.
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday January 29, 2007 @10:57AM (#17799558)

      Is this a nail in the MS XML coffin?

      First, hopefully you were referring to XPS (XML Paper Specification) and not OpenXML, which many of the replies seem to assume. I don't see this as a counter move actually, but rather as business as usual. PDF has been an open standard for a long time and I don't know that any real player has any trouble getting Adobe to add to the spec. I'm glad they've formalized the process and renewed their commitment to keeping PDF an open standard.

      I also don't see that PDF has much of a chance in the battle against XPS. Unless Microsoft is forbidden from bundling readers and writers with Windows, it will take over most of the market via that monopoly leveraging. By the time the courts act I suspect the market will already be destroyed and everyone will be locked into one set of tools made by MS. The courts will eventually rule against MS, and Adobe will get some money, but the market will never be repaired and consumers will be stuck with a PDF replacement where they can only get tools from one vendor and those tools will never be improved again.

      I could be wrong. The courts could be faster than molasses or the industry as a whole could see the trap coming and stick with PDF despite MS. I don't suspect that will be the case though. The most realistic hopeful scenario would be Linux adoption by corporations and government taking off for managed desktops and OS X taking off in the home market sufficiently that the Windows monopoly is weakened enough so that MS cannot effectively manage a takeover based on their monopoly alone.

      • PDF is already pretty entrenched. If you want to produce something printer-ready, you generate a PDF. It looks exactly the same on paper, Windows, OS X, or any other OS. There are a couple of Free Software viewers, OS X comes with one, and there are a few free ones for Windows.

        You can already make reasonable (buy not great) PDFs via a free printer driver in Windows (and OS X / *NIX). Tools like OpenOffice and pdflatex produce better ones (with metadata containing the table of contents and hyperlinks,

        • I got sick of PDF's taking forever to loading, and the reader hanging constantly on our PC's at work, so I banned them from from the office. It shouldn't take a bleeding edge machine to open plain old documents in a reasonable amount of time.

          XPS is built into Windows Vista. I believe all new programs on Vista will generate XPS output the same way those on OS X can generate PDF. Just being built into Office would put a big dent into the market, since XPS files will open faster than PDF, but the fact that

          • by Atzanteol (99067) on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:49AM (#17800230) Homepage

            I also suspect MS will release XPS readers for multiple platforms.

            Like Windows 2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista, etc.?

          • by Nasarius (593729)

            I believe all new programs on Vista will generate XPS output the same way those on OS X can generate PDF. Just being built into Office would put a big dent into the market

            I think you're mistaken about this. I don't know about other programs, but you actually need to download a plugin to get XPS or PDF output in Office 2007. See here [msdn.com] for example. Reading between the lines, Microsoft would probably have been guilty of abusing their monopoly if everything XPS was bundled with the OS -- Netscape/IE all over ag

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I would hope not.
      First, Microsoft already announced that they are submitting XPS to ISO/ECMA. Adobe's announcement is a reaction to that.

      Second, XPS has more features than PDF, creates smaller file sizes, and is more easily manipulatable (that is, to make a program that manipulates XPS, you just take any XML parser and add the XPS semantics).

      Plus, Adobe reserves that right to sue anyone that uses PDF. They used legal threats to force Microsoft to remove PDF support from Office 2007 (out of the box; MS sti
  • Kudos to them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:08AM (#17798322) Homepage Journal
    I tip my hat to them.

    I don't know that this move has more meaning today than if it was done two years ago, but I certainly see more motivation today. The purpose of the ODF is to ensure that 100 years from now we can still access data. Closed formats mean data may not be accessible in the future. PDF used to be the sole means to have a document look exactly the same across any platform. That is no longer the case, and even Microsoft has opened the standard (mostly) on their new Office data files.

    While I still applaud the effort, Adobe is late to the party.
    • Re:Kudos to them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by c_fel (927677) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:18AM (#17798396) Homepage
      PDF used to be the sole means to have a document look exactly the same across any platform. That is no longer the case, and even Microsoft has opened the standard (mostly) on their new Office data files.

      No, I disagree. Even when open office formats, the document won't look exactly the same on one an other platform. Example : the open document format (.odt) renders somewhat differently when opened in OpenOffice for Windows and OpenOffice for Linux. And it may be completely different when opened with koffice.
      The content is the same, though.

      What I believe is the .pdf excels in porting the exactly same layout of a page between platforms and softwares, while Office files excel in porting the exact editable content. Their goals are simply not the same.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ucklak (755284)
        You can't account for fonts. PDF allows insertion of fonts. That is what makes it 100% compatible across platforms and rips.
      • Hrm, interesting. Apart from fonts, which was just mentioned, I can't imagine why the same application itself would render the same format differently across two platforms.

        But I do agree that you brought up a good point. OpenOffice isn't striving to make the same document look exactly the same across all platforms. They are just trying to make the same data accessible and editable across all platforms.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          MS word is notorious for looking different on different computers, even using the same version. Its a fact that two identical computers with identical versions of MS word, will render a document differently if they have different printers. Why is this? I can't understand the logic behind having the printer determining how a document looks. Why not just ignore the printer? The first problem is that word processors are overcomplicated and try to take too importance on exactly how the document is rendered.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Zebra1024 (726970)
            Most word processors, like Microsoft Word, are created on the WYSIWYG [wikipedia.org] principle. They are designed to show you on the screen how the document will look when it is printed. This is why the printer affects how the document is rendered to the screen.
            • by CastrTroy (595695)
              But doesn't the computer tell the printer what the document should look like, and not the other way around? Adobe PDF documents look the same on every computer, when printed as well as on the screen, why should MS word be any different? If Adobe can ignore the printer and display the document the same everywhere, and print it out the same, why can't MS word do this?
              • Different printers have different limitations as to what their borders and such can be.
                How should you display a document that someone set to use 0.4" borders, but the printer won't take any less that 0.5"?
                • by CastrTroy (595695)
                  Display it with the information chopped off? I'm not really sure how Adobe handles this. Just display the information as if the printer could actually print at .4" borders, and then display a warning message when they try to print that lets them know that something will be cut off. I don't want my document changed just because I sent it to someone else who had a different printer than I do.
              • Re:Kudos to them (Score:4, Insightful)

                by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday January 29, 2007 @12:30PM (#17800854) Homepage Journal

                Adobe PDF documents look the same on every computer, when printed as well as on the screen, why should MS word be any different? If Adobe can ignore the printer and display the document the same everywhere, and print it out the same, why can't MS word do this?

                Well, one answer is that PDF can not do that. For instance if you print the same document that runs to the very edge of the page on two printers, one with a 1/4" margin and one with a 1/8" margin, you have two options. You can scale it, or not. If you scale it, the documents will be different sizes. If you do not, different amounts of the document will be unprinted (they lie in that unprintable margin area.) PDF doesn't override the physical limitations of the output device, it works within them just like every other program.

                Another answer is that word is a big pile of crap.

            • by jedidiah (1196)
              That doesn't matter. Short of some drastic differences on the order of 9-pin do matrix vs 1200dpi laser, there should be NO variances in what the final document looks like. The same document should look the same on all printers. If you need to include fonts in the doc then MS should have started doing that ~ 15 years ago.
            • by hcdejong (561314)
              FrameMaker shows that WYSIWYG can be done without the 'reformat the whole document every time you change printers' nonsense.
              I think part of the problem is that Word likes to use the fonts that have been installed in the printer, instead of the fonts that are present on the local computer. Stupidly, every printer seems to implement their own version of each font. Installing fonts on a printer hasn't been necessary since the bad old days of daisy wheels, but that's inertia for you.
        • by 1u3hr (530656)
          I can't imagine why the same application itself would render the same format differently across two platforms.

          Just because it has the same name doesn't mean it's the same application. Or even if it were the same binary running under emulation, differences can occur.

      • I wish to relate anecdotal evidence in support of the statements that c_fel has made. When I am interested in editing a document on my Win2K desktop computer and also on my Kubuntu laptop computer, I use an open document format. When I am interested in viewing or displaying a finished, "published" document, I convert it to a PDF. For example, this is how I maintained a consistent, polished appearance across documents when preparing my resume and cover letter for print.
    • Re:Kudos to them (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hackstraw (262471) * on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:35AM (#17798542)
      I tip my hat to them.

      I do too. This is a very mature and wise decision for Adobe to make.

      I know now that I was wrong, but I did not care for PDFs for years. And still to this day I have issues with people that don't do them correctly (basically those that put a bunch of huge images into a PDF container).

      But with the advent of Linux and especially OS X being able to create PDFs so easily, and I can share documents with anybody and have them look like they are supposed to look is very nice.

      Although I would have prefered if this was an open spec with quality PDF generators from day one, 10 years or so of progress to that ultimate goal is not bad in the long run.

      This model should be _the_ standard for propriatary data formats. By that, I mean going from propriatary to an open standard if it cannot be an open standard from the beginning. Autodesk, MS, etc, I'm looking at you for adopting such a respectable decision for document formats.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      That is no longer the case, and even Microsoft has opened the standard (mostly) on their new Office data files.

      Microsoft's Office XML format is a half-hearted attempt to conform to standards. Really, it's another example of MS trying to hold onto their monopoly. Adobe is doing it the right way by fully opening the specification. From the initial evaluations of the MS proposal: Office XML specification is done in such a way that only MS can implement it.

    • by Val314 (219766)
      > PDF used to be the sole means to have a document look exactly the same across any platform.

      I've seen some PDFs (generated with LaTeX using the microtype package) that looked significantly different on several printers. Some just decided to ignore whole paragraphs, others just decided to print several words in bold. They all looked fine on the Monitor, but not printed

      So to sum up: No, PDFs do not look identically everywhere.

      (disabling microtype or using PCL instead of PostScript to print fixed those iss
  • Thanks Microsoft? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paugq (443696) <`gro.reuaple' `ta' `seliuqgp'> on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:08AM (#17798324) Homepage

    Translation for mere mortals: Adobe is feeling the breath of Microsoft and its Metro [wikipedia.org]. They are so scared to become the next Netscape they are trying to nil any reason people may have to use Microsoft's XPS.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by lseltzer (311306)
      Can Adobe open up the spec like this and still threaten Microsoft legally for including a reader in Office 2007?

      A: Of course they can, the whole thing was hypocritical to begin with.
  • by NearlyHeadless (110901) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:10AM (#17798358)
    You cannot download the Flash File Format (SWF) specification without agreeing to a license which forbids writing a flash interpreter.

    http://www.adobe.com/licensing/developer/fileforma t/faq/#item-1-8 [adobe.com]:

    Can I use the File Format Specification to create a SWF interpreter or player?

    No, the File Format Specification is provided for the specific purpose of enabling software applications to export to the Macromedia Flash File Format (SWF).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Qubit (100461)
      I emailed Adobe recently to clarify their licensing of the Flash/SWF file formats. Here's an abreviated summary of the email conversation:
      (If people are interested, I can post the full messages somewhere)

      Me:

      Your licensing page[1] for the Flash and Flash Video file formats
      states that the license "does not permit the usage of the
      specification to create software which supports SWF file playback."

      Why does your license prohibit the creation of playback software?

      The reason I'm asking is that in April of 2002, in

  • http://www.mozilla.org/projects/tamarin/ [mozilla.org]

    Please forgive my ignorance on the matter. I do recall reading the article earlier on how Adobe has released the code on the scripting portion of Flash to Mozilla, and how it created the Tamarin project.

    Is the scripting portion alone enough for Mozilla to have their own embedded fully-functional Flash player?

    Can we compile from source a 64-bit Flash player some day through this project?

    The Tamarin Project mentions Firefox 2, and as far as I can tell from reading the
    • Re:Tamarin (Score:4, Informative)

      by SavedLinuXgeeK (769306) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:20AM (#17798414) Homepage
      No, Tamarin is essentially getting Flash's action script engine, whichis EMCA Script 3.0 (I think), and this meaning that Firefox's javascript engine will be able to be replaced (overhauled) with the onen from Flash. The action script engine in flash is much faster and more robust than the one in Firefox currently.
      • Thanks. That's what I thought, but the parent article seemed to suggest that Adobe had opened sourced Flash. And it is version 4 of the scripting language.
  • "International Standards Organization (ISO)"

    Intertional Organization for Standardization [wikipedia.org]
  • by gblues (90260) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:21AM (#17798424)
    1) I think you mean "du jour"
    2) <IndigoMantoya>I don't think "du jour" means what you think it means.</IndigoMantoya>

    "du jour" simply means "of the day" ("soup du jour" => "soup of the day"). I really don't think you intended to claim that becoming the standard of the day is a good thing. I think saying, "PDF will transition from a de facto standard to an official one" would have been clearer, more succinct, and still gotten your intended point across.

    Nathan
    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      "Standard de jure" means an official standard, such as ODF, whereas "Standard de facto" means a practically widely adopted format such as Word DOC.
    • by Idaho (12907) on Monday January 29, 2007 @10:00AM (#17798842)

      1) I think you mean "du jour"
      2) I don't think "du jour" means what you think it means.
      He actually meant "de jure", not "du jure", which indeed doesn't make much sense.

      From wikipedia:

      De jure (in Classical Latin de iure) is an expression that means "based on law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "in fact".
      source [wikipedia.org]

      So what he was actually trying to say is not supposed to be French (although French, being a roman language, is indeed similar to Latin).
  • by The Empiricist (854346) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:23AM (#17798436)

    It is wonderful to hear that the PDF specification will be the subject of open standardization. Caution should be exercised when implementing products though. Almost 400 patents have been granted to Adobe [uspto.gov]. Adobe has another 50 patent applications [uspto.gov] in process. There may also be additional patents that have been assigned to Adobe or that Adobe has an exclusive license to practice. Adobe may also have intellectual property in foreign markets that are greater in scope than what Adobe has in the United States.

    Caution should be exercised because ISO does not require that its standards be patent-free. Necessary patents merely must be available on a reasonable and non-discriminatory [iso.org] basis. Adobe (or anyone else really) may also seek patents on how PDFs are used, manipulated, etc.

    This doesn't necessarily mean that Adobe is bad or that any Open Source Software projects will ever face any obstacles from Adobe. It simply means that some care should be taken to determine whether any of Adobe's patents cover features of the PDF standard or its uses, especially when developing software that mimics an existing proprietary product. If there is a question, then OSS developers should contact Adobe to try to get a license (perhaps for the consideration of a promise that the resulting product remain open source).

  • Go Open and Win! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:26AM (#17798458) Journal
    Adobe have deservedly copped criticism over the years, but one great thing they've shown by example is that if you *do* let go out of specs (as they did with PDF), you can still be a viable business. More than viable. Adobe is still the #1 name in PDF/PS, but they do so alongside competitors (GhostScript/View and the zillion PDF generation tools). Yet Adobe is still making money.

    Compare that to Sun with Java. Sun just wouldn't let go, so it never got beyond being just another product that competitors had to *take down!* One of those was Microsoft, but they themselves made the same mistake with Microsoft Word. Remember how DOC files used to be the "standard" (cough) for distributing documents on the web? Now it's all either PDF or HTML. If MS had let go, maybe, people would have used that?** In the long run, when we're talking about data which *needs* to be interchangable and not tied to one software vendor, an open spec will win. Especially a better one! (PDFs look the same. Word DOCs don't!)

    (Reading this and feeling good Adobe? *great*. Now please head on over to Joel and learn about user interface design http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chapters/fog0 000000057.html [joelonsoftware.com] Beyond [PageUp/PageDown], Adobe Reader's interface is very badly designed. The preferences make me weep and why can't I bookmark a la Visual Studio? And please stop trying to stuff every scripting concept known to humanity into the PDF spec, because all you're doing is turning PDF into the ultimate Trojan vector! Had to get that off my chest...)

    Anyway, PDF and PS still rock and I'm glad they won!

    ** = Yes, Microsoft did make a feint with their Office XML, but everyone recognizes it for the debacle it is. Sorry Dad! ;-)
  • If Adobe throws in the towel and uses any other open document format, then they have to write off a lot of their marketable PDF technical skillset. Instead, playing the open-source benefactor is the next logical step.

    This therefore does not necessarily "reinforce Adobe's commitment to open standards", it merely illustrates that it is no longer cost effective for Adobe to continue to maintain the PDF format in house.

    Also, open-sourcing a mature proprietary format such as PDF (which has been driven by a

    • I'm not aware of an FLOSS PDF replacements. ODF doesn't count.
    • This therefore does not necessarily "reinforce Adobe's commitment to open standards", it merely illustrates that it is no longer cost effective for Adobe to continue to maintain the PDF format in house.

      Adobe released PostScript as an open specification from the start. They made their money selling a PostScript interpreter for printers. Anyone could implement their own, however. This back-fired for them in some of the later versions, where they released the specification too early and their competitors release implementations first.

      They released PDF because PostScript had some issues. It was Turing-complete, so a PostScript program could potentially never terminate. It also didn't contain any way

  • Look Adobe for the longest time has fought making this open. Like many companies, they when a real competitor to their control comes along, then and only then will they open up. Java is a good example.

    The one thing that I will give Adobe credit for is that they are at least doing it early enough so that it can make a real difference. As it is (was), most companies wait until they have no choice before doing so. Java is a good example of that. I think that had Java gone true OSS at least 6-7 years ago, sun
  • So I know lots of apps can print to pdf. But the only app I've seen that can open up an existing pdf and change it is Adobe's writer.

    Anyone know if other apps will be able to do this now? Or if some already do? I've heard of pdftk, but it doesn't seem to actually edit the content itself.
  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zebra_X (13249)
    I know that I can print to XPS right now, but I can't print to PDF without paying 300 bones (standard edition) or 449 (professional).

    It's not that people don't think of PDF as a standard - it's that it's insanely expensive to have as a "feature".

    I mean seriously, think about it - you can buy a "normal" version of Office for the price of being able to export your documents to a PDF. Arguably the utility of Office applications is significantly higher than the ability to ship PDF's around.

    It is also very clear
    • What's wrong with CutePDF [cutepdf.com]?
    • by codepunk (167897)
      Guess you need to hire a better network administrator or switch to a decent office suite. OO can export to pdf out of the box, a good network administrator can set up a linux powered network pdf printer..total cost of both of those solutions "zero".
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Informative)

      by ettlz (639203) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:56AM (#17798800) Journal

      There is no reason that it needs to cost so much to create non-editable documents.

      Quite, which is why things like PDFCreator [pdfforge.org] exist.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by jalefkowit (101585)

      I know that I can print to XPS right now, but I can't print to PDF without paying 300 bones (standard edition) or 449 (professional).

      Let me introduce you to PDFCreator [sourceforge.net] -- free, open source printing to PDF. If you want to create interactive forms and such, the Adobe software is worth the money; but for simple PDF printing, all you need is PDFCreator. (Or OpenOffice, for that matter, which has "Save to PDF" built in.)

    • by Noksagt (69097)

      I know that I can print to XPS right now, but I can't print to PDF without paying 300 bones (standard edition) or 449 (professional).

      As others have pointed out, there is third party software to create PDFs for free on all platforms. What I haven't seen are many tools to process XPS documents on non-windows platforms (or even on "legacy" windows). There is an open source XPS to PDF converter [ndesk.org], but I know of no current way to create an XPS document without using Windows.

      I mean seriously, think about it - yo

    • by Megane (129182)

      I know that I can print to XPS right now, but I can't print to PDF without paying 300 bones (standard edition) or 449 (professional).

      The maybe you should try Mac OS X. There's been a "save as PDF" button right there in the print dialog since 10.0.

    • I have a rather "complicated" set up, but it mostly works:

      I set up 'redmon'*, add a postscript printer from the windows printer drivers database, and redirect the output to ghostscript which has a ps2pdf utility.

      * http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/redmon/ [wisc.edu]

      • by MooUK (905450)
        You're doing things the very hard way.

        There's plugins available for some versions of office, freely, that will print to PDF. There are multiple PDF printers for windows (CutePDF is popular, and (this surprised me at first) installed on all my uni's computers), and free PDF creation programs all over the place. Hell, pdflatex creates PDFs with much better results than you'd get out of a word document.

        As with the grandparent, there's many better ways of doing things, in most cases, than the way you've chosen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I know that I can print to XPS right now, but I can't print to PDF without paying 300 bones (standard edition) or 449 (professional).

      There are a coupe of things to note in this. With PDF there are lots of free tools to read and write PDFs, as well as a lot of closed tools. With XPS, there is only Microsoft. You claim you have to pay for PDF generation tools, but that is only because you're only considering offerings from one vendor. Worse yet you assume you have not paid for XPS generation tools, when in

  • While many here already know that PDF has been an open format for a number of years, that knowledge may not be held by all in the development business. Becoming an ISO standard will be very good PR for Adobe and PDF and will go a long time towards reaching developers who didn't know it was an open standard before. If will also be good for those who have PHBs that insist that everything have the right set of acronyms associated with it!
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:41AM (#17798608)
    "PDF has reached a point in it's maturity cycle"

    It's == It is. Its == possessive.

    "a full blown du jure standard"

    Either [soup] "du jour" or [practices] "de jure"?

    Can't tell who's responsible for this, the linked page is Slashdotted.
  • Does it include the features for protecting a PDF from being altered/read without the right password or whatever it is (the ones that Russian guy was arrested for).
    What about the features that deal with applying black bars over text (can we build a PDF reader that completely ignores such data and see all the text that whoever did the obscuring thought was no longer readable?)
    • by Megane (129182)

      What about the features that deal with applying black bars over text (can we build a PDF reader that completely ignores such data and see all the text that whoever did the obscuring thought was no longer readable?)

      Those are simply rectangles dropped over the text, either printed by the word processor or added manually with a PDF editor. I'm pretty sure there isn't a specific "redacted" feature in PDF.

  • ...the Open Source invented the standardization process. At least that what is seems to me when I read "but it demonstrates that open standards and open source strategies are really becoming a mainstream concept in the software industry" at an Open-Source-directed site like Slashdot.

    Sorry to break your heart, folks, but that's like saying Open Source invented ISO / ANSI / IEEE / etc. A.k.a.: nonsense. The process of open industry standards predates the open source community.

    I know that the Open Source c
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday January 29, 2007 @10:19AM (#17799044) Journal
    Let us not confuse Open Source with Open Standards with Free software.

    There can be no doubt or argument that there should be only one open standard. Open meaning not owned by any entity or for-profit company. Ideally the standard should be specified and updated on behalf of all the consumers or all the people by the government or an institute chartered by it. The Standard specifying body should be completely neutral and agnostic. It should allow all players, big and small, for profit and non-profit, commercial and non commercial a level playing field. Such is the case with your nuts and bolts (SAE and DIN spec) or your engine oil or light bulbs or extension cords or ASCII encoding (not EBCDIE if any remembers that) and ANSI language specs.

    Open Source, one can debate, one can agree to various extent the usefulness or the lack of it. Pros and cons you can disagree with me. As long as neither you nor I control the standards, it is a level playing field and the market and history will prove either you or me as correct. Same with free software.

    Currently there are three standards being specified. Which itself is bad. OpenDoc, a microsoft thingie called OpenXML and now the OpenPDF. I like OpenXML least because it pretends to be a standard but it cant be implemented by all players without help/license from Microsoft. It has the audaucity to enshrine bugs of Office97 and Word6 and WordPerfect5 as standards . OpenDoc is already well on its way in the standards process. PDF has a much wider user installed base and has a financial muscle of a decent profit making company and its self interest. I wish PDF and OpenDoc will merge and come up with a unified standard.

    • by aaronl (43811)
      OpenDocument isn't really doing the same thing as PDF. ODF is content with formatting controls that is geared towards WYSIWYG. As a result, it has many of the same problems that Microsoft formats have with formatting changing based on drivers.

      PDF is a layout format. You do you document in a layout language, such as LaTeX, or a formatting system, like OpenOffice. Then you save your document to PDF as if you were publishing it. Changes should be made to the original document, and then re-exported as a PD
    • by DLG (14172)
      There can be no doubt or argument that there should be only one open standard.
      I believe that there IS doubt and argument on this topic. I personally am not even sure if you are suggesting that no one should argue for or against the idea of a single open standard.

      Personally I see no reason that multiple standards should exist as long as they are open and maintained by independent bodies. The nature of file format standards which are clearly described and fully documented allow for translation between file f
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Currently there are three standards being specified. Which itself is bad. OpenDoc, a microsoft thingie called OpenXML and now the OpenPDF.

      Currently there are two existing standards, OpenDocument (not OpenDoc which is something else) and PDF. These standards are for different purposes. The former is for word processing, and other office documents. The latter is for distributing finished products that are intended to be portable and not editable by those receiving them.

      This article is about Adobe certify

  • Via AIM? (Score:5, Funny)

    by exploder (196936) on Monday January 29, 2007 @10:43AM (#17799370) Homepage
    AdobeGrl2002: then like u put a 64-byte header blok
    ISO_19_TX: thats hot
  • TFA doesn't seem to be reachable. Here is the original Adobe press release [adobe.com].
  • Have you actually looked at a PDF file in a text editor? It's a meaningless pile of spaghetti.

    Microsoft's XML Paper Specification (XPS) is already available for anyone to implement. And it's plain, readable XML instead of a 25-year-old printer description language. Your applicaiton can build files using any XML parsing engine, instead of having to license a PDF library.
    • by MooUK (905450)
      There's no need to license PDF binaries. Plenty of free and open PDF implementations exists for all platforms.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Have you actually looked at a PDF file in a text editor? It's a meaningless pile of spaghetti.

      What you mean is that it's not human-readable. And it's not designed to be -- what's the point of that? It's not going to be human-writable or human-editable.

      And it's plain, readable XML instead of a 25-year-old printer description language.

      XML is a subset of a 40-year-old markup language. XML has become the ultimate cancer on computing -- it's this seductive hammer that makes everything look like a nail, and wh
  • Good move Adobe ! Now, I don't want to be too solicitous, but I hope you'll do the same thing with Flashpaper.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:40AM (#17800100) Journal
    FYI, an Adobe employee responded to some questions about this and especially how it relates to Microsoft's new XPS format here [neowin.net]. (Nickull's reply should be at the top of that page)
  • Why do they need to use AOL Instant Messenger to release it? Couldn't they just set up a Torrent of the spec?

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