[linux-elitists] What's wrong with PDF

Ben Finney ben@benfinney.id.au
Sun Nov 9 20:49:58 PST 2003

On 09-Nov-2003, Jason Spence wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 10, 2003 at 03:11:59PM +1100, Ben Finney wrote: 
> > PDF is great for converting to paper, if that's a goal.  For
> > anything involving *reading the actual file*, it sucks charcoal.
> > 
> > For something that is essentially a text document, distributing it
> > as a PDF is a pointless barrier to usability.  A very poor choice
> > for a standards document.
> - Some people think the content creatopm tools are better for PDF as
> opposed to HTML.

If you create documents thinking they'll render exactly the same way
you're looking at them on the screen, PDF creation tools offer that a
lot better than structural document creation tools.

It's when you can't guarantee the document will never need to be read
online, searched, or otherwise processed as a stream of text, that the
PDF everything-is-page-layout mental model is inferior.

For the document under discussion, a technical document detailing an
operating system standard, it's inexcusable to use a page-layout-centric
model for the primary distribution.

 \       "Our products just aren't engineered for security."  -- Brian |
  `\             Valentine, senior vice-president of Microsoft Windows |
_o__)                                                      development |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>
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