Subject: HTML vs PDF
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 1997 11:50:00 +0100

Hello Laurie,

* Antwort auf eine Nachricht von miles -at- CQT -dot- COM an All am 07.08.97

mm> Because Microsoft uses HTML as its method of online doc
mm> distribution (MS
mm> VC++ 5.0 has all HTML-based documentation), many here believe
mm> that HTML
mm> will become the defacto standard, overtaking PDF. Any opinions?

HTML and PDF are two different formats for electronic documents. But they
complement each other and one cannot replace the other:

- HTML documents are "open". Everyone can evaluate (or change)
their contents as he wishes. That is how the Internet search
engines work.

- The user has much control about the way HTML documents are

- PDF documents are "closed". The autor can even password-protect
them and prevent the user from doing specific things with them.
E.g. the autor can prevent printing or even usage of the clipboard.

- It is quite difficult to modify finished PDF documents. It is even
much less likely that you can evaluate PDF documents automatically.
If the WWW would be based on PDF we would not have search engines.

- A PDF document is displayed (or printed) exactly as the auther
wanted it to be output. Remember PDF is a close relative of

From time to time you see combinations of HTML and PDF: You do the navigation
with HTML files and finally look at a PDF document.

Greetings from Germany,

Alexander von Obert, Urbanstr. 2, 90480 Nuernberg, Germany
Free-lance Technical Writer (electronics, software)
Voice +49-911-403903, Fax +49-911-403904, BBS +49-911-403905 (FIDO 2:2490/1719)

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