Re: Editorial Against PDFs

Subject: Re: Editorial Against PDFs
From: Barb Ostapina <Barb -dot- Ostapina -at- METROMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 10:05:32 -0500

Dianna Massey wrote:

Argument against using PDF:

I cringe whenever I hear someone saying PDF should always be used to
preserve page layout on an intranet or the Internet. To use a common
metaphor, publishing a document in PDF format on the Internet or an
intranet is like videotaping a play and calling it a movie.

Documents that will have long-term value when published electronically
should be designed (or redesigned) for the medium.

Dianna is assuming that anyone who videotapes a play is trying to produce a
quick-and-dirty movie. Maybe that's not true. If I want someone who wasn't
at the play to see it exactly as it was done, I think videotaping it would
be a great solution. At my company we are planning to use PDF on an
intranet for system documentation. I have chosen this route not because I
want everyone to think I can do quick, interactive online documentation,
but because I want everyone to be able to see it just the way it was
designed, with typefaces, fonts, layouts and pagination in tact (in our
case, this is important)--and to be able to print it that way, too, if they
so choose, regardless of their hardware/software configurations. I also
want it to be easier for them to maneuver around within and among
documents. I don't want a movie, I want a play on videotape.

barb -dot- ostapina -at- metromail -dot- com
...speaking only for myself.

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