Re: Editorial Against PDFs (long)

Subject: Re: Editorial Against PDFs (long)
From: Tracy Boyington <tracy_boyington -at- OKVOTECH -dot- ORG>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 08:48:32 -0600

Well, everybody's entitled to their own opinion, but one at least hopes
for a little consistency.

So first this Gibbs guy says:

> Why use PDF? The fact that an electronic document can "look'' like a =
> real document doesn't make it more valid. If it is electronic, it is =
> electronic.=20

If it's electronic then it's electronic. I agree with that. But he
follows immediately with:

> In the case of vendors, I'm at a complete loss as to why they supply =
> their manuals in PDF. Is it laziness? Is it because they can print their =
> documentation that is laid out for paper directly to the PDF driver =
> rather than go to the trouble of creating a specifically electronic =
> version?=20

PDF *rather than* electronic? So now PDF is NOT electronic?

> That doesn't make a lot of sense. The vendors could just as easily =
> export the document to HTML, which would be generally more useful.=20

Just as easily? Puh-leeze. I've done both, and exporting a document to
HTML is not even close!!!

> Of course, it may be that vendors figure that their deathless prose has =
> such great intrinsic value that the hoi polloi shouldn't be able to cut =
> and paste it.

Or it may be that vendors realize their product is protected by
copyright and don't feel the need to make easier for anyone to violate
that copyright.

> PDF files are a hangover, a retro technology that serves to keep us in =
> the data age. The data age? Yep, that's what we're struggling out of. =
> The data age was an era when just to get access to any content was an =
> incredible step forward.=20

I find it interesting that Lisa's customers apparently aren't ready for
PDF yet, but this Gibbs guy calls it retro. What is it -- too old or too

But, like I said, everybody is entitled to their own opinions. Although
I don't have a whole lot of respect for people who anonymously leave
their opinions in one's mailbox.

Tracy Boyington mailto:tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org
Oklahoma Dept. of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, OK, USA

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