[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Axiom-developer] PDF/A and pamphlet support on MathAction

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] PDF/A and pamphlet support on MathAction
Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2005 19:14:07 -0700 (PDT)

--- address@hidden wrote:

> There is a strong analogy between pdf documents and Word 
> documents : both use a proprietary and fully documented format, 

I'm not aware of Word's format being fully documented - AFAIK rtf is a
subset of Word's format, not the whole format itself.  I could be
wrong, but to the best of my knowledge is STILL not
fully compatible with all Word documents.

> No, PDF/A is not a version of PDF, it is _based on_ a specific
> version of pdf. Pdf is still proprietary, as far as I know. Or did 
> you see any declaration of Adobe saying they will
> adopt pdf/a as the new version of pdf ?

I'm a bit confused.  What is the issue at stake here again?  Presumably
we want all of our documents in pamphlet format, which can be rendered
however we want?  If we have to re-render it years down the road, why
would that be an issue?  We can't possibly assume rendering technology
will remain static, if you're proposing picking one rendering method
which will be around fifty years from now.  I wouldn't bet even an
penny that ANY current rendering method will survive fifty years as a
front line tool, except maybe ASCII text viewers.  Some of the names of
formats might survive but their internals and methods of working will
most likely change as improvements are made.

> A contrario, this suggests that present pdf documents could be
> incorrectly rendered within 50 years, which I agree completely 
> since it was exactly my point.

Isn't the same true with ANY format?  Who's to say dvi wouldn't change
in that amount of time?  Or LaTeX itself, for that matter?  So long as
new features are incorporated into a document format it CANNOT be a
static protocal, and I think if we want to render something both
readable and viable in the long term we are going to have problems. 
Hence the argument for source which is re-rendered as the protocals

> The main problem with pdf/a is that users of pdf must be convinced 
> of the danger of using pdf for archiving purposes.

I'm clearly missing something.  Archiving electronic documents is a
problem for anything above the level of ascii text - that's actually
the exact reason Project Gutenberg uses ascii only.  Even older LaTeX
documents can be hard to re-render sometimes.

> Otherwise, they will continue to use the version that proposes the
> largest number of possibilities, and their documents will be sooner
> or later rendered incorrectly.

Isn't that up to the viewer, whether or not something is rendered
correctly?  Or are you worried that the standard will be redefined in
such a way that older documents are no longer correct, and that no
"compatibility mode" will be included?  I would very much doubt this
will happen with the pdf format - it's whole reason for EXISTING is to
be as universal as possible.  Word has different motivations for
breaking backwards compatibility, like forcing everyone to quit using
older versions of Word and buy new ones to avoid compatibility issues. 
If it is an issue for pdf some day, all the free tools and renderers
can just move to PDF/A and continue as normal, couldn't they?


Start your day with Yahoo! - Make it your home page!

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]