[linux-elitists] What's wrong with PDF
Mon Nov 10 05:42:35 PST 2003
(Michael, please respect my Mail-Followup-To header. I'm subscribed to
On 10-Nov-2003, Michael Still wrote:
> On Mon, 10 Nov 2003, Ben Finney wrote:
> > [PDF compression is] only as seamless as the tool provides. Since
> > you are fine with needing special tools to read the document, why
> > not compress using gzip and avoid all the other hassles of PDF?
> Because the world is not solely populated with elitists, and at some
> point solutions need to take into account the average, computer
> semi-literate, user.
Uh. And this is an argument for formats that need special tools to read
If we want "average, computer semi-literate" users to be able to read
it, I'd have thought the format with ubiquity of tools would be the
right one. No user-oriented operating system needs to install a special
reader program for plain text.
However, since the context was a document detailing an operating system
standard for filesystem layout, I don't think the audience of "computer
semi-literate" is really relevant.
> PDF fills a demand.
A demand for compression? That's the only advantage you've offered so
far. It's been explained how plain text is at least equal, and
generally superior, to PDF in this respect.
> That demand wouldn't exist if the majority of the world thought plain
> text was suffient.
Straw man. Nobody is saying plain text is the only way to go; just that
Which leads to: Fallacy of the excluded middle. PDF and plain-text
aren't the only options for distributing an operating system standards
document; other formats offer better styling than plain text without the
rigidity and user-hostility of PDF.
\ "If you go to a costume party at your boss's house, wouldn't |
`\ you think a good costume would be to dress up like the boss's |
_o__) wife? Trust me, it's not." -- Jack Handey |
Ben Finney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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