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Dumb question ... why not PDF?

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  • User profile image
    Ray6

    Seems that all this stuff about document formats is about interoperability amongst other things.

    So I was wondering; why not PDF as a document format? Is it only suitable for rendering? Is there a technical reason why you can't edit PDF documents in a word processor?


  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    PDF is meant to be a "proofing" format, thus you're not meant to be able to edit it. Acrobat and other programs allow you to "touch up" documents, but the facility is minor.

    And PDF is controlled by a Adobe. Whilst the specification is available, it is liable to change at any time, and it hasn't been submitted to any standards organization for standardization.

  • User profile image
    YearOfThe​LinuxDesktop

    Ray6 wrote:
    Seems that all this stuff about document formats is about interoperability amongst other things.

    So I was wondering; why not PDF as a document format? Is it only suitable for rendering? Is there a technical reason why you can't edit PDF documents in a word processor?



    because Adobe seemed to be all this "open" about his beloved PDF but as soon as MS tried to implement it in Office 2007 Adobe showed the true self by threatening to sue Microsoft. if only MS pushed an XPS viewer through WU I swear I'd convert all of the PDF documents on my websites to XPS just because of Adobe's behaviour!

  • User profile image
    Sourcecode

    YearOfTheLinuxDesktop wrote:
    
    Ray6 wrote:
    Seems that all this stuff about document formats is about interoperability amongst other things.

    So I was wondering; why not PDF as a document format? Is it only suitable for rendering? Is there a technical reason why you can't edit PDF documents in a word processor?



    because Adobe seemed to be all this "open" about his beloved PDF but as soon as MS tried to implement it in Office 2007 Adobe showed the true self by threatening to sue Microsoft. if only MS pushed an XPS viewer through WU I swear I'd convert all of the PDF documents on my websites to XPS just because of Adobe's behaviour!



    Here is the Adobe side of the story just to even it out..

    On Microsoft, PDF and the threat to open standards

    It also states in that post that PDF is in fact an ISO standard.

    Mike Chambers wrote:
    
    First, PDF is an open ISO standard (actually incorporated into a number of ISO standards).




  • User profile image
    Sourcecode

    W3bbo wrote:

    And PDF is controlled by a Adobe. Whilst the specification is available, it is liable to change at any time, and it hasn't been submitted to any standards organization for standardization.



    err hummm..
     
    PDF to become open ISO standard 

    Though i'm not sure where all this stands at the moment. Your right it has not been submitted but it is on the way(i.e. will be). Just wanted to point that out..

    EDIT: PDF actually is an open ISO standard. See below.

  • User profile image
    YearOfThe​LinuxDesktop

    Sourcecode wrote:
    

    Here is the Adobe side of the story just to even it out..

    On Microsoft, PDF and the threat to open standards

    It also states in that post that PDF is in fact an ISO standard.


    the comments in that page say it all on how weak the Adobe's side of the story was. it is clear that Adobe didn't want MS to include PDF support because that way they would have lost all their precious money from Acrobat sales since most people use Adobe just to save office documents in PDF. they tried masquerading their choice as a "fear
     of open standards being threatened" however it looks like they failed.

  • User profile image
    Sourcecode

    YearOfTheLinuxDesktop wrote:
    
    Sourcecode wrote:
    

    Here is the Adobe side of the story just to even it out..

    On Microsoft, PDF and the threat to open standards

    It also states in that post that PDF is in fact an ISO standard.



    the comments in that page say it all on how weak the Adobe's side of the story was. it is clear that Adobe didn't want MS to include PDF support because that way they would have lost all their precious money from Acrobat sales since most people use Adobe just to save office documents in PDF. they tried masquerading their choice as a "fear
     of open standards being threatened" however it looks like they failed.




    I never said that Adobe was write to do so. I just wanted to have both sides so folks don’t make a blind assumption.

    I don’t make a decision based on blog comments.. Even then considering that there is not really that many comments period.

    Compared to the sheer number of PDF and Office users that’s nothing.

    It’s clear to me at least that MS was gunning position for their own XPS standard, and it would put them in a position to undermine PDF through bundling and other processes. We all know the MS history here, so I won’t get into why I believe they would.. they just would. Why would they develop XPS if they did not want it to be the defacto standard…

    Anyway no rights, no wrongs but they both could have sat down and fixed the issue so that their customers and IP from both sides would benefit and be secured.

    But we still have not answered the OP’s original question…

    Why did MS not just go with PDF instead of developing their own format? They could have worked with Adobe for that. So why didn't they....

    Ahhhh... same coin different side me thinks..





  • User profile image
    littleguru

    well there's still postscript (.ps) which doesn't seem to be used outside of academia.

  • User profile image
    Massif

    littleguru wrote:
    well there's still postscript (.ps) which doesn't seem to be used outside of academia.

    (or printers)

    Still, Adobe's excuse - "They might do what they did to Java" is funny because of how well that Java thing worked out for MS.

  • User profile image
    YearOfThe​LinuxDesktop

    Sourcecode wrote:
    Why did MS not just go with PDF instead of developing their own format? They could have worked with Adobe for that. So why didn't they....


    because XPS has some features (part of XAML, supports WCF, et.) that if MS added to PDF everybody would have been screaming "embrace, extend and extinguish!".

    since most people use the acrobat suite just to create PDFs to send via e-mail, bring to a copyshop or publish on the web MS letting office 2007 save directly to PDF would have probably killed part of their market and that's probably the main reason they didn't want MS doing that. obviously when the story came out about them threatening to ask antitrust countermeasures (since all this discussions were private) they had to find another reason to masquerade their actions (aka "Microsoft threats open standards".

    remember that along with PDF support XPS support was also removed from Office 2007 so XPS doesn't have now any market advantage at all over PDF (when you install the plugin you get both PDF and XPS support). removing PDF from office 2007 came only at MS's expense (because they had to remove XPS too).

  • User profile image
    Matthew van Eerde

    One problem with .pdf as a "living" document format (as opposed to a "final" document format) is that all line breaks are hard.

  • User profile image
    Ray6

    Matthew van Eerde wrote:
    One problem with .pdf as a "living" document format (as opposed to a "final" document format) is that all line breaks are hard.


    Ah!


  • User profile image
    SimonJ

    Matthew van Eerde wrote:
    One problem with .pdf as a "living" document format (as opposed to a "final" document format) is that all line breaks are hard.


    ...and text flow, from one area to another, is not encoded.

    PDF is a reasonable means of storing Final Document Format but it was never designed to be used as a Revisable Document Format.

    PDF/A is an ISO Standard as is PDF/X.
    Both are subsets of full PDF for different purposes.

    Simon Jones
    Contributing Editor
    PC Pro Magazine

  • User profile image
    SimonJ

    Duplicate

  • User profile image
    SimonJ

    Duplicate

  • User profile image
    SimonJ

    Duplicate - Server error while posting...

  • User profile image
    Ray6

    SimonJ wrote:
    
    Matthew van Eerde wrote:
    One problem with .pdf as a "living" document format (as opposed to a "final" document format) is that all line breaks are hard.


    ...and text flow, from one area to another, is not encoded.

    PDF is a reasonable means of storing Final Document Format but it was never designed to be used as a Revisable Document Format.

    PDF/A is an ISO Standard as is PDF/X.
    Both are subsets of full PDF for different purposes.

    Simon Jones
    Contributing Editor
    PC Pro Magazine


    Thanks everyone!

    Yes, I thought it was a dumb question, but I just wanted to know why all this fuss when PDF seemed offer what everyone was looking for.

    As with many things IT, it's not that simple .... Sad

    Thanks again.

  • User profile image
    n4cer

    YearOfTheLinuxDesktop wrote:
     if only MS pushed an XPS viewer through WU I swear I'd convert all of the PDF documents on my websites to XPS just because of Adobe's behaviour!


    Technically, they did in the form of WPF in .Net 3.0. If you have that, XPS documents are viewable in IE. Granted, .Net 3.0 is probably an optional download on WU.

    In the future, Silverlight 1.1 could also be used to offer XPS content to users that don't have a viewer installed. Though I'm not sure if MS will be supporting this specific scenario (here's hoping they will).

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