[OT?] US & CA govt use of PDF fill-in forms
Ihab A.B. Awad
ihab at ahc.umn.edu
Mon Apr 26 16:59:22 UTC 2004
On Monday 26 April 2004 02:53, Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
> Ihab A.B. Awad said on Sun, Apr 25, 2004 at 07:37:06PM -0700,:
> > Should the government be thereby institutionalizing this format
> > (Adobe Acrobat PDF) to the benefit of the one corporation (Adobe)
> > that provides tools to properly edit it? ...
> FSF India says the government should not use the portable document
> format. See http://www.gnu.org.in/philosophy/mitrules.html
Thank you for the link ... I didn't know about that!
Actually, with all due respect to FSF India's opinion -- which is pretty much
what I would expect from FSF anywhere -- I claim the US tax agencies' policy
fails an even weaker standard: that of the availability of more than one
source for the software required to use the format.
The killer here is that you *can* use the PDF form -- but you just can't save
an *editable* copy without paying $$$ to Adobe. So extra taxpayer money was
spent creating PDF forms (as opposed to simply providing PDF to be printed
and filled out in hardcopy). Then, to use this taxpayer-sponsored work, you
end up shoehorned into the marketing campaign of the one and only source of
software for it.
Ihab A.B. Awad
Snr Scientific Programmer, Dept of Genetics
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