21 November 2007

GNU PDF Project

Around ten years ago I fought a fierce battle to get people to use HTML instead of PDF files, which I saw as part of a move to close the Web by making it less transparent.

You may have noticed that I lost.

Now, even the GNU project is joining in:

The goal of the GNU PDF project is to develop and provide a free, high-quality and fully functional set of libraries and programs that implement the PDF file format, and associated technologies.

...

PDF has become the de-facto standard for documentation sharing in the industry.

Almost all enterprises uses PDF documents to communicate all kinds of information: manuals, design documents, presentations, etc, even if it is originally composed with OpenOffice, LaTeX or some other word processor.

Almost all enterprises use proprietary tools to compose, read and manipulate PDF files. Thus, the workers of these enterprises are forced to use proprietary programs.


I still think HTML, suitably developed, would be a better solution. (Via LXer.)

2 comments:

Percy said...

I can understand the use of PDF in certain cases (e.g. forms for physical printing) but not the way it has been used on the web. I prefer HTML as well but it seems we are in the minority.

glyn moody said...

Ah well, they say that a gentleman only supports lost causes....