|Date: ||Fri, 15 Jun 2001 21:40:55 -0700|
|Sender: ||"SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>|
|From: ||"Karsten M. Self" <kmself@IX.NETCOM.COM>|
|Subject: ||Re: OT: Re: Excessive use of PDF files|
|In-Reply-To: ||<416A07CFC6C1D311A796000083295C33F9B9@VSTPC04>; from
olaf.kruse@VST-GMBH.DE on Wed, Jun 13, 2001 at 11:12:37AM +0200|
|Content-Type: ||multipart/signed; micalg=pgp-sha1;
on Wed, Jun 13, 2001 at 11:12:37AM +0200, Dr Olaf Kruse (olaf.kruse@VST-GMBH.DE) wrote:
> My two cents:
> I don't second the warnings about excessive use of pdf-files, even
> if the usability-argument ist right. In my experience, pdf-files are mainly
> used to replace other file-types like *.dvi, *.ps or even worse
> MS-Word/Excel/Powerpoint and _not_ html/Hypertext-files. An I rather
> (down)-load a 200 KB pdf-file than a 1.000 KB MS-Word-file (or even
> have this particular file not posted at all) and get the viewer for free!
> And I really appreciate the same-look-on-every-device- and
> no-manipulating-by-a-third-party-features of pdf-files !!
I second the preference for open standard file formats over closed
proprietary ones. Though GNU/Linux provides a number of tools for
quickly rendering MSFT *.DOC and *.PPT files to ASCII text (catdoc and
strings, respectively). Those who send me such files will get flat text
in response. Postscript, by contrast, *is* an open standard, is
largely uniform across platforms, and is widely supported (though, of
course, not natively on Legacy MS Windows though apps are freely
available, see below).
The first of the two features you mention is offered (largely) by
postscript files. The limitations are largely similar: any interpreted
display will introduce some differentiation to the output. Pagination
and paragraph layout can largely be expected to remain the same.
PDF provides additional features such as searchability (unless someone
can point me to a postscript viewer offering text search), hyperlinks,
thumbnails, etc. However, in balance, I find that only one of these
features (search) is a benefit, and the default navigation and display
of PDFs is worse that that of PS documents. The processing overhead of
PDF is significantly higher than for reading a postscript document.
I routinely convert PDFs to PS for reading, and to text if I need to
search the document. My preferred PS reader is 'gv' under GNU/Linux.
Aladdin Software (L. Peter Deutsch) provides a set of utilities for use
under Legacy MS Windows, I think you can find them at
Note that the document "locking" features of PDF are largely bypassable
by users. Conversion to a postscript file (a precondition to printing)
will allow extraction of text from the postscript file if not from the
source PDF. I generally question the intent of those who do attempt to
do this in the first place -- it's a largely misguided effort.
Karsten M. Self <email@example.com> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand? There is no K5 cabal
Are these opinions my employer's? Hah! I don't believe them myself!