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acrobat is obsolete. yes?

P: n/a
why does anyone use acrobat distiller, or whatever adobe calls that currently?
iv'e used the pdf pseudo printer drivers when somene requested pdf format. and the result
looked rather close to the origina document in original format (only defect i noticed:
underlining widths varied in the pdf, whether read in foxit or adobe7)

but pdf is terrible for documentation.
the reader cna't compact the lines, and is left to scrolling up and down through 150 +/-
"pages". And the "pages" incorporate excessive border padding. the page widths don't flex
or wrap.
pdf readers lack user stylesheets.
lack user bookmarking (if doc writer has and should include anchors).

if writers worry they'll lose "child" files such as pngs or jpgs, then simply distribute the doc
in a self extracting file.

locking content is perhaps what PDFis better for. However they can lock only one way
(editing). i once had someone's pdf, and realized the index was keywords handy for
websearching. i OCR-ed the index from a couple screenshots.

any other comparisons? (i'm just blurting out what's come to mind in a few minutes)
Sep 21 '06 #1
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7 Replies


P: n/a
Quasimenudo CSS wrote:
why does anyone use acrobat distiller, or whatever adobe calls that currently?
iv'e used the pdf pseudo printer drivers when somene requested pdf format. and the result
looked rather close to the origina document in original format (only defect i noticed:
underlining widths varied in the pdf, whether read in foxit or adobe7)

but pdf is terrible for documentation.
the reader cna't compact the lines, and is left to scrolling up and down through 150 +/-
"pages". And the "pages" incorporate excessive border padding. the page widths don't flex
or wrap.
pdf readers lack user stylesheets.
lack user bookmarking (if doc writer has and should include anchors).

if writers worry they'll lose "child" files such as pngs or jpgs, then simply distribute the doc
in a self extracting file.

locking content is perhaps what PDFis better for. However they can lock only one way
(editing). i once had someone's pdf, and realized the index was keywords handy for
websearching. i OCR-ed the index from a couple screenshots.

any other comparisons? (i'm just blurting out what's come to mind in a few minutes)
PDFs aren't meant to be web pages. Their purpose is to enable a paper
document to be transmitted electronically, a function which isn't
obsolete. They're useful for (a) posting existing printed materials onto
a web site and (b) posting material that will be useful for the end user
to download and print rather than reading it off of a computer screen
(paper forms, product manuals, long reports, etc.).
Sep 21 '06 #2

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger <hm*******************@comcast.netin
news:4n************@individual.net:
Quasimenudo CSS wrote:
>why does anyone use acrobat distiller, or whatever adobe calls that
currently? iv'e used the pdf pseudo printer drivers when somene
requested pdf format. and the result looked rather close to the
origina document in original format (only defect i noticed:
underlining widths varied in the pdf, whether read in foxit or
adobe7)

but pdf is terrible for documentation.
the reader cna't compact the lines, and is left to scrolling up and
down through 150 +/- "pages". And the "pages" incorporate excessive
border padding. the page widths don't flex or wrap.
pdf readers lack user stylesheets.
lack user bookmarking (if doc writer has and should include anchors).

if writers worry they'll lose "child" files such as pngs or jpgs,
then simply distribute the doc in a self extracting file.

locking content is perhaps what PDFis better for. However they can
lock only one way (editing). i once had someone's pdf, and realized
the index was keywords handy for websearching. i OCR-ed the index
from a couple screenshots.

any other comparisons? (i'm just blurting out what's come to mind in
a few minutes)

PDFs aren't meant to be web pages. Their purpose is to enable a paper
document to be transmitted electronically, a function which isn't
obsolete. They're useful for (a) posting existing printed materials
onto a web site and (b) posting material that will be useful for the
end user to download and print rather than reading it off of a
computer screen (paper forms, product manuals, long reports, etc.).
yeah, reading pdf on paper makes a bit of sense, especially since
browsers tend to print poorly (possibly partly because most web pages
don't have separate stylesheet for printing, etc). i avoid reading pdf
online. i usually download them, then open them in the reader.

also i've used some fillable form pdf files, though the commands and nav
are klutzy.
converting existing print material. that sounds very useful.
i've also come across pdf that had been converted (just scanned in?)
from printed material. it's often simply one horribly huge image. :-)

but i'm guessing that distiller *can* convert text properly. and, i
don't recall seing any software that could convert a scan into
html+childfiles.

one of the best pdfs i've seen is the simpson catalog.
http://www.simpsonanchors.com/catalo.../download.html
http://www.google.com/search?q=+site...mpson+tie+cata
log+pdf

probably will get more "advocacacious" replies if i post to a pdf group
:)
Sep 21 '06 #3

P: n/a
AES
In article <Xn***************@216.196.97.142>,
Quasimenudo CSS <Qu**********@QuasiQueasy.QuasiAnon.comwrote:
obsolete. They're useful for (a) posting existing printed materials
onto a web site and (b) posting material that will be useful for the
end user to download and print rather than reading it off of a
computer screen (paper forms, product manuals, long reports, etc.).
Also as the primary for creating, editing, storing, archiving,
organizing, and presenting slides for seminar presentations and talks.
Sep 21 '06 #4

P: n/a
On Thu, 21 Sep 2006, Quasimenudo CSS wrote:
why does anyone use acrobat distiller, or whatever adobe calls that
currently? iv'e used the pdf pseudo printer drivers when somene
requested pdf format. and the result looked rather close to the
origina document in original format (only defect i noticed:
underlining widths varied in the pdf, whether read in foxit or
adobe7)
[...]

You seem to be muddling two different questions (neither of which are
particularly relevant to authoring WWW stylesheets, by the way).

"Acrobat" is software which generates PDF format. There are other
ways to generate PDF format. Do you really want to discuss Acrobat
software, or do you want to discuss PDF format itself?

Allegedly, the adobe software will produce results which are better
optimised than one gets from the third-party PDF printer drivers to
which you seem to be referring. Sometimes the difference is
considerable - but often, I've found little difference - the size of
the PDF file being dominated by other issues.
but pdf is terrible for documentation.
Funnily enough, I agree with your conclusion, even though vendors seem
to think PDF is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The problem (as so often in webspace) seems to be that the folks who
are paying for these projects are still locked in a historic timewarp
in which the canonical document is a printed brochure, while the
online version is just a last-minute add-on which, as far as they are
concerned, needs to resemble the printed version as closely as
possible.

In the fullness of time, one hopes they'll get the idea that the
canonical document is an accessible online version, while the printed
brochure is just one of many possible formats in which the information
can be made available, depending on user needs and requirements.

But, no matter how much the folks at the "sharp end" may have already
understood this principle, they still get directed to do what their
bosses and customers demand - we have many decades of ingrained
history to overcome, and those who commission web pages do not seem
keen to un-learn what they think they already know (so often, learned
from the print shop, not from the web).

By the way, I'm not saying that formats such as PDF, Flash etc. don't
have a place in the scheme of things - for those who are able and
willing to view them. But please not as the only source of
information on the web.
Sep 21 '06 #5

P: n/a
Thu, 21 Sep 2006 07:01:23 -0400 from Harlan Messinger
<hm*******************@comcast.net>:
PDFs aren't meant to be web pages.
I would like to take a lot of lazy Webmasters by the neck and force
them to write out that statement 100 times.

Government agencies in the US seem particularly prone to putting PDFs
on the Web instead of HTML. Even plain text would be better as at
least it could scroll and be searchable within the browser.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2.1 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Why We Won't Help You:
http://diveintomark.org/archives/200..._wont_help_you
Sep 23 '06 #6

P: n/a
Thu, 21 Sep 2006 09:16:38 -0500 from Quasimenudo CSS
<Qu**********@QuasiQueasy.QuasiAnon.com>:
also i've used some fillable form pdf files, though the commands and nav
are klutzy.
New York State rather kindly offers fillable PDF tax forms, but
maddeningly won't let you save them after filling them in.

Did you know your Shift key isn't working?

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2.1 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Why We Won't Help You:
http://diveintomark.org/archives/200..._wont_help_you
Sep 23 '06 #7

P: n/a
[crossposted to and followups set to c.i.w.a.misc]

begin quotation
from Alan J. Flavell <fl*****@physics.gla.ac.uk>
in message <Pi******************************@ppepc20.ph.gla.a c.uk>
posted at 2006-09-21T16:23
On Thu, 21 Sep 2006, Quasimenudo CSS wrote:
>but pdf is terrible for documentation.
Funnily enough, I agree with your conclusion, even though vendors seem
to think PDF is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
PDF can be a real pain to deal with when working remotely and forwarding
an X11 client connection is impractical due to lack of bandwidth or
other such issues. For its original intended purpose, that being a
representation of a printed document as an electronic file, PDF is
fantastic.
The problem (as so often in webspace) seems to be that the folks who
are paying for these projects are still locked in a historic timewarp
in which the canonical document is a printed brochure, while the
online version is just a last-minute add-on which, as far as they are
concerned, needs to resemble the printed version as closely as
possible.
Agreed completely. Why are people so hung up on "looks the same"?
In the fullness of time, one hopes they'll get the idea that the
canonical document is an accessible online version, while the printed
brochure is just one of many possible formats in which the information
can be made available, depending on user needs and requirements.
In an ideal world, this would be the case already. Of course we already
have Web sites where the creators had no clue that such things as
minimum font size settings exist, completely blowing the layout if it's
set to what I consider a reasonable value.
By the way, I'm not saying that formats such as PDF, Flash etc. don't
have a place in the scheme of things - for those who are able and
willing to view them. But please not as the only source of
information on the web.
To me, Flash is still not a workable standard for Web use until the
standard is released under something like the GFDL or the license used
for RFCs. Adobe *still* doesn't allow use of the specification for SWF
file playback software, as I had hoped.

Of course, we still have people who test once in one (sometimes, excuse
for a) browser, with Java, Javascript, Flash, and other electronic
equivalents of duck tape enabled.

--
___ _ _____ |*|
/ __| |/ / _ \ |*| Shawn K. Quinn
\__ \ ' < (_) | |*| sk*****@speakeasy.net
|___/_|\_\__\_\ |*| Houston, TX, USA
Sep 24 '06 #8

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