Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat

Subject: Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 08:09:00 -0600

Adobe does _not_ connect to the Internet except via a browser.

The following paragraphs come from the "InternetLink Info" file (the date
on my copy is Nov 1994, so it's hardly a recent innovation):

InternetLink is an extension (plug-in) for Adobe Acrobat Exchange 2.0.
InternetLink allows you to embed URLs for Gopher, ftp, and HTTP, and
Netnews items inside Acrobat PDF documents. When you click on such a
link, Acrobat Exchange calls a helper application to get the item
specified by the URL. The InternetLink plug-in currently calls
TurboGopher for Gopher URLs, Anarchie for FTP URLs, NewsWatcher for
Netnews URLs, and MacWeb for http/html URLs. InternetLink works with
Acrobat Exchange to make PDF documents act as Internet-aware hypertext
documents which can be published from a variety of servers (such as
gopher, ftp, etc...)

Why use Acrobat Exchange and InternetLink?

Adobe Acrobat lets you create fully formatted documents using your
favorite Mac or Windows word processing or desktop publishing
application (or any program that can generate postscript documents)
and save these as PDF (Portable Document Format) files. PDF files
may be viewed on Macs, PC, or UNIX boxes with all the original
formatting, fonts, and graphics intact using the free Acrobat
Reader. Creating a PDF file is as easy as printing the document
to the Adobe PDF printer driver.

Using Acrobat Exchange and the InternetLink plug-in, you can also
set links (hot-spots) to any Internet resources in your PDF file.
This means that any text or graphic can be a hypertext link
containing a URL. Clicking on such a link in Exchange (enabled
with the plug-in) has Acrobat call an appropriate helper
application (TurboGopher, MacWeb, Anarchie, NewsWatcher...)
to fetch and/or render the appropriate item.

Creating links is straightforward: select the Link Tool in Acrobat
Exchange, and make the link an InternetLink from the popup menu.
Drag a rectangle over any area of the document to define the "hot"
area. Paste or type in an IETF-standard URL.

<end excerpt>

Yes, it still means you have two applications running. (I don't know about
the rest of you, but my system doesn't have any problem keeping an idle
Acrobat reader running in the background when I'm working with something
else. I've typically got 4-5 applications running at any given point in
time and once it was nearly a dozen. As I look at the task list right now I
have 5. So I don't see any kind of tremendous overhead problem with it.)
But it also means that you don't need a browser to access the internet
(though you will if you access the web).

2) Browsers provide a means (HTML forms) by which customers can
request information from the company. For example, you
can cycle customers through an HTML list of Frequently
Asked Customer Questions then to a form for their specific

This is a good point. HTML does (for the moment) provide a better means of
customer feedback than Acrobat docs do. Still, given what is in
InternetLink it doesn't seem a long reach to expect "mailto:"; capability in
a future version. Still, it does indicate that HTML is better suited for
applications requiring two-way communication.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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