.PDF on Unix, or not?

Subject: .PDF on Unix, or not?
From: Iain Harrison <iharrison -at- SCT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 11:57:28 GMT

Dan Azlin comments:
I cannot agree that HTML is a better option. There is too little control
over page layout to make me confortable with the presentation appearance of
the finished product. Remember that cheaper is not always better. HTML has
its place: usually where you are addressing the lowest common denominator
in the target viewing system (like on the web). But if the appearance of
the document is important, forget HTML.

I almost agree, but there is precious little difference between the control
you have over layout in winhelp/hyperhelp and in HTML. Either system will
reformat lines to fit the font size and viewer window, altering the page
layout. You can tighten up on this, but all that means is that you are
trying to override the user's preference.

The issue is that .PDF is a way of transmitting the page layout, and help
and HTML is a way of transmitting the information in context.

To write good HTML or winhelp, you have to accept the reformatting, and
make a design that works in other window sizes and fonts.

Iain Harrison
iharrison -at- sct -dot- co -dot- uk

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