×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Adobe To Release Full PDF Specification to ISO

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the big-changes-in-the-text-world dept.

Software 275

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."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

275 comments

Whoho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798284)

That MS XML format had some worth after all :DDD

mmmmmmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798290)

buttplugs first post buttplugs!

There is OS and OS (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798298)

There are 2 types of OS: the "normal" one and the discriminatory one. So anybody but Microsoft can use this "Clos...Open Source" project?

ISO approved PDF (5, Insightful)

Xymor (943922) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798304)

Is this a nail in the MS XML coffin?

Re:ISO approved PDF (1)

FunkeyMonk (1034108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798496)

Yup - I suspect that Adobe is really just trying to insulate themselves from Windows encroaching on their territory.

Re:ISO approved PDF (0, Troll)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798904)

Good God, no. Or at least I hope not. Even the most verbose XML couldn't come close to the unbelievable bloat that is .PDF. 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.

Re:ISO approved PDF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17799048)

You've got to be kidding. Adobe's reader sucks balls, but that's not the fault of PDF. The PDF format is quite slender compared to XML.

Re:ISO approved PDF (4, Insightful)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799054)

Blame AcrobatViewer, not PDF.

Evince is fast and snappy here on my old and busted PIII 700Mhz, with only 128MB RAM.

Re:ISO approved PDF (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799426)

I ran some tests on all the PDF viewers for Linux. xPDF used the least RAM and was the fastest. However, it has less features than e.g. Evince, and doesn't always render 100% correctly. Still, I use it on a daily basis (seeing as I often have several PDFs open for days).

Re:ISO approved PDF (4, Insightful)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799160)

Acrobat reader is widely known to be a resource hog, but banning PDFs is short sighted and reactionary. It's like banning shoes because you tripped once.

Foxit [foxitsoftware.com]. Windows and (now) Linux. Takes about 1/2 a second to open.

If you have a Mac, you have a slick one built in.

Re:ISO approved PDF (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17799196)

You are a fucking idiot. If you worked for me you would have been out of a job before you even finished writing that post. "Banning" a ubiquitous file format because of a lousy reader is about the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

Re:ISO approved PDF (2, Insightful)

nbritton (823086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798910)

"Is this a nail in the MS XML coffin?"

ISO/IEC 26300:2006 (OpenDocument Format) was the first nail.

Re:ISO approved PDF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17799064)

Nope - it's Adobe trying to salvage their ass. Since the MS format is going open-standard, Adobe must do something to prop up their proprietary system. I wonder how Adobe's IP licensing will be affected by this? PDF licensing has to be at least some revenue.

Re:ISO approved PDF (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799320)

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.

iso (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798306)

A full grown stallion's cock, when fully erect, will measure some two to three feet long. It can be three to six inches thick at the base, to about two inches thick at the head.

Update to office 2007 (1)

Kieranties (994398) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798316)

I wonder if Bill would decide it is a good idea. Obviously people have been producing pdf's via Latex and wysiwyg tools for years, but the inclusion of the pdf format in office 2007 could have some pretty big impact in business environments. Doen't really matter to me, i'm off to play with my new mac :D

I didn't understand.. (1)

Awod (956596) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798320)

So I went to read the article..

The system was unable to find the module you requested to edit (moduleID ).

Re:I didn't understand.. (1)

iago-vL (760581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799462)

I love how "login with your account" is a suggested fix for "module not found." I logged in with a trusted bugmenot login, and go figure it still couldn't find the module!

Kudos to them (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798322)

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 (5, Insightful)

c_fel (927677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798396)

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:Kudos to them (2, Informative)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798440)

You can't account for fonts. PDF allows insertion of fonts. That is what makes it 100% compatible across platforms and rips.

Re:Kudos to them (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798742)

But I still get garbage printing some pdf stuff on my printers...

And I get garbage display (bitmap fonts) on some computer display.

PDF is certainly not perfect.

Re:Kudos to them (3, Insightful)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799136)

Those are bugs in an implementation of a PDF viewer. They aren't bugs in the PDF standard.

Re:Kudos to them (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798468)

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:Kudos to them (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798598)

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. The other problem is that people expect entirely too much from their word processor. It evolved from a point where the word processor file was just a flat text file with maybe a couple tags for making text appear a certian way, to a system where you can insert a movie into a document (you can't print the movie). The word processor tries to be the be-all-and-end-all of computer applications, and hence fails miserably

Re:Kudos to them (3, Informative)

Zebra1024 (726970) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799204)

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.

Re:Kudos to them (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799410)

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?

Re:Kudos to them (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798662)

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.

Re:Kudos to them (1)

scuba0 (950343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798672)

The biggest problem that I see is Microsofts unwillingness to apply .odt readable OK. MS Office is often mentioned as the more "advanced" of the office suits, but test to edit equations, diagrams, and other useful functions and it fails.

Re:Kudos to them (1)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799378)

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 (3, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:Kudos to them (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799412)

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.

Thanks Microsoft? (5, Insightful)

paugq (443696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798324)

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:Thanks Microsoft? (1, Funny)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798500)

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.

Re:Thanks Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798622)

You are welcome :) We do alot of submissions of our specs for international standardisation. This is paying off and forcing our competitors to open up their specs. I for one am tired of half baked hacked up PDF tools, there would have been more tools for XPS due to the XPSDocument API's being documented and in the .Net 3.0 framework class libraries.

This is a good thing, so dont diss it :) It not only keeps MSFT's specs open but also give you more choice by forcing competitors to open up theirs :) Win win IMHO :) Two can play ball, competitors want our specs open, fine, we want theirs open too :) Fair is fair :)

Open Standard != Open Source (1, Offtopic)

penix1 (722987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798330)

... it demonstrates that open standards and open source strategies are really becoming a mainstream concept in the software industry.
I see nothing of that. When they open source Photoshop then we will know they support open source strategies. Until then, they are simply taking the path of least resistance.

B.

Re:Open Standard != Open Source (2, Informative)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798962)

"When they open source Photoshop then we will know they support open source strategies.

Actually, Adobe did not open source anything with this move. They opened up the specification for the file format for PDF files. This is still a great move because other companies can now support PDF in both directions (read and write) but it is not open sourcing Acrobat. The equivalent move with regard to Photoshop would be to open up the file specification for the Photoshop work files (some sort of PNGs I believe).

Flash SWF file specification not open (5, Informative)

NearlyHeadless (110901) | more than 7 years ago | (#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).

Right direction? (1)

Annoymous Cowherd (1036734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798362)

From the article:

The system was unable to find the module you requested to edit (moduleID ).
I've been professionally developing high end PDF document manipulator applications in Javascript for a year or two now, and this pretty much sums up the the Scripting API.

Adobe needs to focus more on the users' requirements, and less on pigeonholing them into vague outlines of their vision.

How to resize PDF ? (-1, Offtopic)

dargaud (518470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798364)

PDF is fine for what is was designed for: creating print documents. But I hate pdf when reading it on the screen as it won't fit my window width: either you have to scroll back and forth every line or the characters are too small to read. Is there any app that can 'uncompile' a pdf and fit it on a screen width ? Might be a great app for reading docs on a laptop/pda/cell phone.

Re:How to resize PDF ? (2, Informative)

UtucXul (658400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798404)

PDF is fine for what is was designed for: creating print documents. But I hate pdf when reading it on the screen as it won't fit my window width: either you have to scroll back and forth every line or the characters are too small to read. Is there any app that can 'uncompile' a pdf and fit it on a screen width ? Might be a great app for reading docs on a laptop/pda/cell phone.
pdftotxt

pdftohtml
or
pdftk
The last one is more to let you edit a pdf, but they are all really useful when dealing with pdf file.

Re:How to resize PDF ? (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799304)

While this works the output can look a little like OCR sometimes. In some places pdftotxt has to reconstruct the text from glyphs (or strokepaths I can't remember which) and the conversion isn't perfect. Ligatures are a bitch as well.

A similar way to go is pdftops followed by some pstops magic to cut out obxs (like text columns) and then reformat them onto a new page. To the OP I wuold say:

man pdftops
man pstops

As these tools are magic, and you will love them.

Re:How to resize PDF ? (2)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798770)

Is there any app that can 'uncompile' a pdf and fit it on a screen width?

No, technical discussions of the format aside.

As an end user, it would help if you consider the format a FINAL format (for viewing, printing, distribution, etc.), and treat the authoring of it as entirely separate. It's really quite obvious, but the modern widespread use of wordprocessing software (which typically combines the two separate steps in an unholy but manageable mess) has led to the confusion. Put another way, your question comes up frequently.

By contrast, those accustomed to separating the two steps (editing text and adding markup, on the one hand, and generating output as postscript, PDF, HTML, formatted text such as man pages, etc., on other), never ask the question and typically scratch their heads when they see it asked. PDFs are typically generated into letter and A4 sizes. Reading them on screen isn't ideal, agreed, but it's unlikely there will ever be a big push for everyone to provide 6x9 or smaller versions. Perhaps one day in the future when screen technology improves and becomes widespread, but not now.

You consolation prize is that you can, with little trouble, extract the text from a PDF. You can use that to re-author a new PDF, or read it as is. But that brings you back full circle to "plain text", doesn't it? The tangential lesson here is there is a reason why *nix users continue to insist on using the command line, and spend much of their time mucking about with text files, and the rest of it arguing about text editors. Text (ascii, if you will), is the lowest common denominator for people and computers. The two get along quite nicely. You could say that processing text is what it's all about. Oddly, enough, computer programs are written in text, and their output is often more text. ;-)

There is a book called Unix Text Processing (written by Dale Dougherty and Tim O'Reilly) that was first published in 1987. To a large degree, it's as relevant and useful today as it was back then, years before Microsoft released Windows 95 to the world. If you buy a copy on amazon.com (for under $2.00, typically), you can learn how to make your own PDFs and never have to ask the question again.

Re:How to resize PDF ? (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798868)

> Text (ascii, if you will), is the lowest
> common denominator for people and computers.

So true. Although I'd even add the HTML Unicode escapes to that definition of text. I'm working on a JavaCC book [generating...javacc.com] right now and writing it in DocBook, and you can easily do Unicode characters with the hex encoding. For example, ü (or U+00FC) is ü. DocBook handles this just fine, the PDF output looks good, and so the book can use accented characters and such when appropriate.

Oh dear God. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798366)

Lord help us and save us.

If only adobe could make the reader so it does not rape your system resources and connection.

I like plain text or html files much better, they are far more efficient, reliable and compatible.

PDF is a very unweildy, arcane and unreliable format. That is the fact of the matter.

Go ahead, mod me troll, I know how the truth always goes over here.

Re:Oh dear God. (-1, Flamebait)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798412)

Mod parent down! He mentioned plain text. He insulted PDFs! He lies! He liiiiiiieeees!

Re:Oh dear God. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17799158)

Ouch, who got mod points today? This has to be the zillionth post I've seen mis-modded Troll.

Tho I'd have to admit I wouldn't have wasted karma bonus on it.... perhaps you saw it coming?

Re:Oh dear God. (3, Interesting)

penix1 (722987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798476)

I like plain text or html files much better, they are far more efficient, reliable and compatible.
Plain text and HTML are far from "compatible". You lose formatting, layout, and readibility not to mention that those formats don't print very well. Another thing that you lose is the permanence of it. I can scan a signed document into PDF and be assured it will stay the same. The only wat to achieve that is to use HTML (a 50% reduction in your choices right off the bat) and scan it as an image.

B.

Re:Oh dear God. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798484)

You are not a very good troll.

Re:Oh dear God. (2, Informative)

Dik Zak (974638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798748)

Yes, a 100 MB application to read text seems a bit much. I use Foxit Reader. Just 2 MB, very fast.

Re:Oh dear God. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798892)

I don't understand comments like this... Adobe's reader does suck, badly, but it's only a reference implementation adobe make available to demonstrate the format. If you want a better PDF reader, there are loads out there and your free to write your own if none of them suit you.
The default preview app in OSX works well, and i often use kpdf under Linux, but there are many PDF readers for pretty much every platform in existance, there's even a PDF reader for AmigaOS, and no adobe don't make an official one for Amiga.

Tamarin (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798368)

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 Firefox 2 features, it never made a new impact in the 2 release. Will this impact Firefox 3? When will it be implemented, and what exactly does it mean?

Re:Tamarin (3, Informative)

SavedLinuXgeeK (769306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798414)

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.

Re:Tamarin (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798448)

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.

Re:Tamarin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798526)

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

No, definately not.

What it means is a lot closer to a better/alternative version of javascript.

The mentions of Flash are misleading and largely irrelevant, but Actionscript happens to be used in the Flash Player.

Not already a standard (2, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798374)

PDF was never a standard in the sense of the word that one was encouraged to use it. Only open standards meet that requirement.

"Standard du jure" [sic]? (4, Informative)

gblues (90260) | more than 7 years ago | (#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

Re:"Standard du jure" [sic]? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798508)

"Standard de jure" means an official standard, such as ODF, whereas "Standard de facto" means a practically widely adopted format such as Word DOC.

...meanwile at the entrance to the Holy Temple... (2, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799118)

Sean Connery gasps: "But in the Latin alphabet, 'de jure' is written with an 'I'!"

You pretentious jackass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798576)

> 1) I think you mean "du jour"

They really dont

> "du jour" simply means "of the day" ("soup du jour" => "soup of the day").

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_jure [wikipedia.org]

Firstly it is Latin not French and it means "by law" not "of the day"

check your facts you condescending schmuck, or read a book once in a while

hand your geek card in at the desk and dont let the door hit you on the way out

Re:You pretentious jackass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798954)

"de jure" might mean "by the law" but the person who submitted the article wrote "du jour". Are you such a retard that you can't see those two, totally different sentence fragments mean totally different things? You're a bigger fuckwit than the original submitter; at least he made an honest (if stupid) mistake. What's your excuse?

Re:"Standard du jure" [sic]? (4, Informative)

Idaho (12907) | more than 7 years ago | (#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).

Nitpick alert! (1)

DudeTheMath (522264) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798428)

So is that a standard du jour, or a de jure standard?

Re:Nitpick alert! (-1, Offtopic)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798512)

> You save only 59 seconds over 8 miles by going 75 instead of 65. Do you really have to pass that guy? Do the Math!

1 minute every 8 miles...
10 minutes for 80 miles...
20 minutes for 160 miles...
Those minutes can mean the difference between getting stuck in a traffic jam and getting through before the jam forms. Not to mention many people make considerably longer trips and travel considerably faster than 75 (on british motorways, the speed limit is 70 and a lot of people travel around 90 and some people go a lot quicker than that)
As for passing "that guy"... You might get stuck behind a slow set of traffic signals with him infront of you, yet had you been 30 seconds ahead of him you'd have got through before the signal turned red. Worst case, your still stuck at the signal and he pulls up behind you, you've not lost anything relative to being behind him at that point.

Re:Nitpick alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17799392)

Worst case, your still stuck at the signal and he pulls up behind you...

No, the worst case is you end up wrapping your car around a lamppost because you didn't have enough time to stop because you were driving too goddamn fast. Would you give up 10 minutes a day to extend your life 30 years? Would you give up 10 minutes a day to extend the life of your 6-year-old daughter 80 years?

Re:Nitpick alert! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798720)

It's "du jure" as opposed to "de facto"

you "du dumbass"

The rol of GTK+ (-1, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798432)

Now with this development, I hope the role of GTK+ will slowly diminish or even simply disappear. I would rather have QT replace GTK in all [future] incarnations of Adobe's PDF reader on Linux platform.

Main reason for my view: GTK on Linux platforms is slow, hard to improve on, and plain ugly.

Re:The rol of GTK+ (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798558)

This has very little to do with adobe's pdf reader (which is one of the worst). Why not use kpdf, that uses qt and works considerably better. PDF being an open standard means that there are plenty of programs which support it.

Great news, but not necessarily a free-for-all (5, Interesting)

The Empiricist (854346) | more than 7 years ago | (#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! (2, Insightful)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798458)

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! ;-)

Not "open". (1)

ear1grey (697747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798470)

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 single company's objectives) may divert attention from other open standards that have been developed from scratch by consensus, so it's not without it's potential downside.

Good guy or just competition? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798504)

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 would be in major control and Java would be unstoppable. As it is, Java is decaying as a number of the projects move to C#/mono (I am a C/C++/perl type guy).

Who knows, since more companies are jumping on the OSS AND still making money on the items, this is force others to move to true OSS. I have noticed that when I have been interviewing amongst big companies (first time a quite a while), that many now want to see my source code and they are moving a number of their projects to OSS code.

Other apps can edit PDFs now? (1)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798584)

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.

Re:Other apps can edit PDFs now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17799036)

I don't think releasing the standard to ISO will make much difference to this. The existing standard doesn't really restrict what programs you're allowed to write.

Re:Other apps can edit PDFs now? (3, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799206)

There are a lot of ways to edit PDFs. Sometimes it is worth converting to postscript, as you'll have even more tools. The tools below are free/open source and run on Linux. Most also work on other operating systems. If you are willing to take a proprietary solution, there are even more options:

Re:Other apps can edit PDFs now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17799240)

kword

Well... (1, Insightful)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798586)

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 from Adobe's pricing that they have you by the balls. Distiller isn't worth that much.

Not only do the creators of PDF's get screwed, the reader software (up until the latest version) has sucked hard. It had a tendency to stay open and use copious amounts of RAM even whenthere were no PDF docs being viewed. Performance wasn't really what they were after either and the ads in Reader were pretty awful too.

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

Re:Well... (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798722)

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... (5, Informative)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798800)

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:Well... (1, Redundant)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799088)

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.)

Re:Well... (1)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799338)

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 - you can buy a "normal" version of Office for the price of being able to export your documents to a PDF.
And, if you buy MS Office, you will be able to download a PDF/XPS export plugi from Microsoft [msdn.com] for free.

Not only do the creators of PDF's get screwed, the reader software (up until the latest version) has sucked hard. It had a tendency to stay open and use copious amounts of RAM even whenthere were no PDF docs being viewed.
As you said, Adobe's current version doesn't suffer these problems. There are also plenty of third party viewers & Adobe's viewer works on Windows, OS X, and Linux. This isn't the case for XPS.

ISO Can Be Good PDF PR (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798596)

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!

Obligatory grammar flame (2, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Hey Adobe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798614)

I appreciate what you've done with your source libraries and tamarin, I'm also grateful for the existence of PDF. I don't see why we need javascript or 3D in PDF documents and I hope you're not thinking of putting flash in there as well. If we wanted documents to be code we'd all be using postscript wouldn't we?

It's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17798644)

>PDF has reached a point in it's maturity cycle...

It's its, not it's.

Is this really the entire spec? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798690)

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?)

Re:Is this really the entire spec? (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799382)

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).

I suppose it contains description of the framework and description of how to identify and handle encrypted data. (as in "Here's some binary crap, it's stored with the method X with key Y. Just proceed as usual once you decrypt it.") I don't think it contains instructions for each and every DRM method, of course - after all, no one has so far come up with a DRM method that could be openly specified and not trivially crackable because everyone knows how to get the key...

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?)

PDF supports "draw text here" and "draw black box here", and has never advertised anything but. If people use that for redaction, they deserve everything they get. Protecting people from the stupidity of the users has never been Adobe's job (or any standard body's job either), they trust that people have at least half a clue =)

Great news! (1)

LWGLIN (98225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798856)

This is great news!

Now I won't have to start endless discussions with people not liking PDF because it is 'proprietary', an argument that IMHO made no sense because Adobe has always allowed developers to use the PDF Reference as described in section 1.4 of the PDF Reference.

The only downside: I have just published a book [ugent.be] about PDF saying PDF is a de facto standard as opposed to the ISO standards PDF/X and PDF/A (read the third chapter that is available for free). If I had known this was coming, I could have asked to wait for a month and a half before printing it ;-)

Hemos with a silent exual, on the ball as usual (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798864)

PDF has reached a point in it's maturity cycle
In it is maturity cycle? That doesn't make any sense at all.

The submitter talks like... (1)

gregorio (520049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17798884)

...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 community is important and all, but pretending that it invented the whole process of openness is plain silly. Stop this nonsense.

Dont confuse OpenSource with Open Standards (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17799044)

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.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...