Re: I-D ACTION:draft-ash-alt-formats-01.txt

"Anthony G. Atkielski" <> Wed, 01 February 2006 01:57 UTC

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Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2006 02:57:14 +0100
From: "Anthony G. Atkielski" <>
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Subject: Re: I-D ACTION:draft-ash-alt-formats-01.txt
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Joel M. Halpern writes:

> First and foremost, if the input format is PDF, how will the RFC Editor
> edit the document?  PDF documents are not editable.

PDF is designed to be uneditable.  It's for final versions of a
document, and the difficulty involved in trying to edit it is one of
its most useful features.

If the document isn't acceptable as-is, then it should be rejected
until the author makes any required changes.

I'm not saying that PDF is or isn't the right format, but I can say
that PDF seems like the least of several evils when it comes to
encoding line art in a document.  If you have to go beyond ASCII text,
PDF is the next step up.  It's certainly better than RTF, or Word
format.  And it is so thoroughly entrenched these days that it has a
good chance of surviving over the long term, whereas many other
formats do not.

Also, at least early versions of PDF cannot easily carry viruses;
later versions are perhaps best avoided because of this risk.

> Secondarily, as a lesser matter, for the WG / Documents that get selected
> for the experiment, can you indicate what composition tools (editors) are
> likely to be suitable for producing this?  Are we going to be requiring
> that the document editors for those documents have and use word?  (Or Open
> Doc, or ...)  Or are we expecting them to find their own tools to 
> participate in the experiment?

There are lots of ways to generate PDF.  An additional option is to
offer PDF generation from text or other formats.  PDF is a good
archive format for anything that requires line art and not just text.
Of course, if no document will ever require anything more than simple
text, there's no need for PDF.

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