PDFs (was Re: The Old Argument: ...)

Subject: PDFs (was Re: The Old Argument: ...)
From: Sandy Harris <sharris -at- dkl -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 14:29:10 -0500

Darren Barefoot wrote:

> I continue to be frustrated by the presumption that a PDF file is
> all one requires to be Web-friendly.

Does anyone actually think that? Or imagine that PDF (as normally used,
I'm not sure what can be done with it if you're clever) is anywhere
even close to acceptable as a format for any document intended mainly
to be read online?

> Like it or not, Acrobat's PDFs are a stop-gap solution that will
> happily go the way of DOS and GOPHER. ...
> ... Posting a PDF on the Internet is a
> bit like using a View-Master and calling it a film. The Internet,
> as we know, is not 8.5" x 11".

I think of PDF as a handy tool for delivering relatively large docs
via the web in a format well suited for printing. I prefer Postscript,
but not everyone has that. (get it from http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/).

HTML doesn't print all that well, so this is useful. But it wouldn't
occur to me to use PDF except for printables, and I'd feel I had to
deliver another format (HTML, XML, perhaps GNU info) if I expected
users to use it online.

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