Is PDF the Java of digital content?
November 6, 1999 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Is PDF the Java of digital content? Not that Java comes even vaguely close to fulfilling it's 'Write Once, Run Everywhere' promise - but Adobe's PDF has a chance to become the universal, interchangeable, cross-media delivery boy it should be. This article by Robert Morgan explores Adobe's options around a PDF future.
posted by grant (2 comments total)
PDF's could have been great. I remember seeing Acrobat 2.0 and all the amazing things it did. I also remember converting my 2.5Mb thesis in Word format to a less than 100kb pdf. I think PDF's limitation has been the expensive writer. If your software can't export out as PDF, it costs what, like $300 for the creation software? That's insane. Make it $49, or $29, or heck, make it free for non-commercial, personal use, and you'll see PDF use explode.
posted by mathowie at 2:14 PM on November 6, 1999

Good point. Adobe should have a free solution for all platforms. It may still be coming - it took them forever to *finally* start *getting* the web. PDF will shine. It's an amazingly flexible structured language (now there's an oxymoron!). With the right tools, it's also extremely powerful. In terms of creating PDFs, we're seeing more standalone tools that do this without Adobe's help. Check out software like PDF-Blit for BBEdit, Distillage and EX-PDF. There are at least some non-Adobe options. I'm also trusting Apple to do a fine integration job of PDF directly into OS X.
posted by grant at 4:36 PM on November 6, 1999

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