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RE: PDF Alternatives?

From: Dave J Woolley <DJW@bts.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 15:33:23 +0100
Message-ID: <81E4A2BC03CED111845100104B62AFB58248CB@stagecoach.bts.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> From:	Carlos.Velasco-Nunez@gmd.de [SMTP:Carlos.Velasco-Nunez@gmd.de]
> 
> First of all, I disagree with you on your last sentence. There are many
> formats as good, or even better than PDF for printing, including Adobe's
> own Postscript. The reasons why Adobe decided to market PDF so strongly
> are only known to them, although I am able to think of some.
	[DJW:]  
	PDF is essentially Postscript but with no user defined
	procedures, variables or control structures, i.e. the 
	graphics primitives from PostScript with literal arguments.
	Added to postscript it has various navigations features.
	The normal route to PDF involves interpreing PostScript
	and outputting the prmitives that actually produce output.
	(Some PDF primitives would normally be defined as functions in
	the prologue to a PostScript document.)

	I think PDF was largely intended as a simplified PostScript for
	the desktop machines of the time that it was developed,
	but there may be some reasons to do with better protection of
	intellectual property in the content, although I can't work
	out what they would be.

> because the "only" thing you need to do is "learn" PDF, and embed the
> HTML form results in the PDF form. In any case, the user does not care
> about the process because it is server-side. Let's not put the burden on
> the  user.
> 
	[DJW:]  I think I was trying to say that you could also
	embed them in the paper form by overprinting, or simply
	print out the key data.  If you can afford the 1 to 3 man
	weeks per page to program things properly (validation etc.)
	you will have only one variant format, so the only bureaucratic
	concern would be to do with the legal validity of alternative
	medium (does the form filler understand the nuances that were
	in the original layout; has he got a signature, etc.)

	You can meet all the requirements by spending money on 
	developing the web applications, spending money on indivually
	printing forms, and spending money on shipping those forms
	to the originator for signature.  It's probably arguable 
	whether you need to spend more money on supporting people 
	filling in the electronic forms than you have to spend on 
	people who can't understand the instructions on the printed
	forms.
DJW:] 
(The easiest way of embedding into PDF would be to convert the
PDF to Postscript and insert the overlay at the end of the page
and then convert back to PDF, but there would be no real point -
you might as well send the PostScript to a printer (or, as I say,
have the base forma pre-printed)). 
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Received on Thursday, 3 August 2000 10:33:26 GMT

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