January 29, 2007

PDF to be ISO standard too

Today's news from Adobe:

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jan. 29, 2007 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that it intends to release the full Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7 specification to AIIM, the Enterprise Content Management Association, for the purpose of publication by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Looks like everybody nowadays wants to be open and ISO standardized. ODF is already ISO standard, OOXML on the way and now PDF joins the club.

Btw, Wikipedia article on PDF is definitely wrong (or written by Adobe) - how on earth this fully proprietary document format is called "an open file format created and controlled by Adobe Systems"?

Provided the fact that Adobe forced Microsoft to remove "Save as PDF" feature from Office 2007 - because they wanted to charge a fee for it, PDF format clearly cannot be called "open format" - it's proprietary format controlled by Adobe and they wanted a fee from at least one vendor trying to implement it. I don't think that is open format.

I'm going to try to change Wikipedia article on PDF to see how it works. I'll report my progress.

And at the end one more curious comparison showing how heavily biased Wikipedia is: PDF vs RTF. Both proprietary document formats, published and widely implemented by both commercial and open tools. But guess what:

Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open file format created and controlled by Adobe Systems, for representing two-dimensional documents in a device independent and resolution independent fixed-layout document format.

and

The Rich Text Format (often abbreviated to RTF) is a proprietary document file format developed by Microsoft since 1987 for cross-platform document interchange. Most word processors are able to read and write RTF documents.

With a piece of PDF conversion software, whether it's an individual license or a larger PDF server package, you may find that various PDF conversion options are more useful than you realized and that a PDF converter can help speed things up around the office.
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