[OT?] US & CA govt use of PDF fill-in forms
Mahesh T. Pai
paivakil at yahoo.co.in
Tue Apr 27 05:21:16 UTC 2004
Ernest Prabhakar said on Mon, Apr 26, 2004 at 02:02:20PM -0700,:
> Perhaps what you are really saying - which might be at least
> slightly relevant to this list - is that you only want governments
> to use document formats that are supported by open source
> implementations. Is that your point?
Speaking for myself, and not for the original poster.
My issue is about this. See below:-
This is an interview with Bruce Chizen, Exec. VP, Adobe.
(Q) You've documented a number of your key architectures: PostScript,
PDF, and--albeit somewhat reluctantly--the Type 1 font format. But
these are not open-source initiatives, nor are they official standards
controlled by standards bodies like the World Wide Web
Consortium. Although Adobe documents these formats, it alone still
controls them. Have you found a profitable middle ground between
proprietary architectures and open source?
(A)With PostScript and PDF, we found that publishing the
specifications--making them open, but not open standards, but not
providing open source--is the right path for us. Once something
becomes a standard driven by a standards body, it moves at a glacial
pace. And innovation slows down significantly because you have to get
everybody to agree and there's lots of compromise. If you make it
totally open source, you don't get a return on investment.
We believe that by opening up the specification, we allow other people
to take advantage of it. But because we still own the source, we get
to innovate around that standard more quickly than anybody else. We
have found that to be a great balance. PDF is the best example of
that. We work on Acrobat, we work on PDF, we announce the product, we
ship it, and we open up the specification.
Note the chronology in the last sentence of the last paragraph above.
Which is very bad for *sovereign*, not mere intra-government use. I
have no problem with that in *private* use though. Indeed, I do use
PDF quite often (with LaTeX, that is). But the criteria is different
for the governments.
The issue when governments use the portable document format is, what
if Adobe refuses to open up the next revision of the specifications?
That is a possibility with corporate specs. as always.
Mahesh T. Pai, LL.M.,
'NANDINI', S. R. M. Road,
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