Re: HTML vs. PDF

Subject: Re: HTML vs. PDF
From: "Tom Murrell" <tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1999 20:23:03 -0400

I have followed the thread on HTML vs. PDF with interest. Until recently, I
worked in an organization where this was greatly debated to no clear-cut
decision. Mainly no decision was reached because no clear evidence was
presented on the PDF side. Frankly, I've read more constructive reasons for
PDF in this thread than I heard in the previous year and a half.

Having said that, it seems very clear to me that the argument about PDF vs.
HTML seems to be a MacOS vs. Windows holy war. Those who swear by HTML,
swear at PDF and vice versa. My experience is that these religious wars are
never resolved other than in the marketplace. Even then it seems that the
technologically inferior product wins out.

One point I have not seen mentioned that I would like to at least raise in
this discussion is that PDF is a proprietary data format whereas HTML is the
product of the Open Standards movement. My feeling is that using a
proprietary display format in the web defeats the purpose of having a web
that at least attempts to be open to all sorts of machines and operating
systems. I feel that it is important to continue to make HTML, and other
SGML entities, more robust so that we move the industry more and more toward
Open System Architectures rather than continuing the proprietary wars of the
past 15 years.

Tom Murrell
Senior Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
mailto:tmurrell -at- alldata -dot- net
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com

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