[LINK] Web and ODF documents in PDF?
Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Fri Jul 27 09:32:44 EST 2007
Getting acceptance for new document formats from users is difficult.
If someone gets a file with an ODF or some other extension they have
never heard of it will be a worry for them. But if they get a PDF
file that is okay.
Perhaps PDF can be used as Trojan horse (in a nice way) for this.
Some versions of PDF (such as PDF/UA) have provision for embedding
could be used to include a ODF or web document and its associated
formatting and images inside the PDF document.
OpenOffice.org could be modified to package an editable version of
documents in a PDF file (and an equivalent addon provided for
Microsoft Office). OO already creates PDF versions of documents, so
to this could be added an option to include a copy of the original
source document. The person receiving the document would see the PDF
rendering by default, but would have the option to work on the
original editable file and be offered a link to download a copy of
OO, or a conversion tool for Microsoft Office, if needed.
Most of the space taken up by word processing documents is in the
images, not the text. It should be possible to share the images
between the PDF rendering and the ODF document. As a result adding
the ODF document to the PDF may not make the document much bigger.
ODF is better than not having a standard format for office documents,
but is not perfect. My preference would be to use XHTML 2 for word
processing documents, so they could be directly rendered by web
browsers. Word Processing programs are rapidly becoming just a way to
create not very good web content and it would be better if they
created well formatted web format documents directly.
Compatibility with existing products is a legitimate concern when
setting a standard. As an example this was a major consideration in
the standard for shipping containers, with discussion of what
adaptors would be needed
Standards based on something which has been shown to work are better
standards. But this does result in some quirks, as an example
shipping containers are stronger than they need to be (increasing
costs) due to the need to meet some old European railway standards.
The cords for some computers are rated to withstand high temperatures
as the standard they are made to was designed for electric kettles
Putting office documents inside PDF files would be a bit like a
computer cable you could use to boil water, but at least it would work.
Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617 http://www.tomw.net.au/
Visiting Fellow, ANU Blog: http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/atom.xml
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