[linux-elitists] What's wrong with PDF

Adam Sampson azz@us-lot.org
Tue Nov 11 03:25:17 PST 2003

Michael Still <mikal@stillhq.com> writes:

>> If you've reformatted the document, then it's not plain text any more.
> So now you'll standardise the font and size that every console, on every 
> operating system, uses?

That's not the point I was making. You can display the text in
whatever size you like -- you can even wrap long lines, if you like --
without destroying what's meant by "line 1234". If I distribute a
plain text file, I can unambiguously say "line 1234" to somebody and
they will be able to find it in any decent text editor or reader; if I
distribute a PDF, I have to say something like "page 7, paragraph 3,
line 4" (or "page 7, 11cm down, 4cm across").

Now, if you reformat the text file -- load it into a word processor
and reflow the paragraphs, or convert it to HTML -- then yes, the line
numbers will no longer be valid, but that's because you've changed the

Adam Sampson <azz@us-lot.org>                        <http://offog.org/>

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list