[gs-devel] PDF-A

James H.Cloos Jr. cloos at jhcloos.com
Tue Nov 4 13:18:49 PST 2003


>>>>> "luke" == luke kendall <luke.kendall at cisra.canon.com.au> writes:

luke> So the pdf/is standard doesn't have any of the patent-protected
luke> parts of PDF 1.4, I take it?

Actually the pdf/is draft includes a royaly-free patent license from
Adobe, but others with 

luke> I'm confused about why the fax
luke> group is considering adopting a proprietary data format for an
luke> international standard.

It is an openly published standard, as for that matter is tiff, which
was the original choice, given its use with current fax devices,
workflows, etc.  (And which is also owned by Adobe these days.)

luke> Or have Adobe guaranteed that pdf/is is patent royalty free,
luke> *and* handed over ownership of that standard to ISO or
luke> something?

As I read it pdf/is would become an IEEE standard (although the draft
references the full pdf spec as published on adobe.com.

Similarly, if I understand correctly, pdf/a would become an ITU
standard.  (Len: did I get that right?)

luke> Why wouldn't the fax group come up with their own format, or
luke> better yet, adopt a higher level format like a subset of
luke> OpenOffice's file format?  Especially given the interesting list
luke> of problems associated with using PDF/is recently thrown up
luke> here.

They are targeting a work-flow over the internet exactly like today's
work-flow for pstn faxing.  Ie, real-time scan-transmit-print as the
primary flow.  It is based on IPP, but with some details limited to
help ensure the "safety" of having something on the net accepting
print jobs from the public.

Pdf/a, OTOH, is more a microfilm replacement.

I'm not saying a subset of OOo's format would be a bad choice, but
pdf/is predates OOo's current format, adobe made a case for pdf/is
on the ifx list, and no-one else made a similar offer.

Actually, I think someone asked Adobe about ip on the tiff standard,
and they came back with:  we're working on this thing called pdf/a
for electronic archiving of mostly government docs; how about we
throw something pased on pdf together for you, too?  But it has
been a very long time since then (between 27 and 36 months if
I remember at all close to correctly) and I could be wrong.

Anyway, that is the history as I recall.  For more details
Check out the list archive at:

  ftp://ftp.pwg.org/pub/pwg/www/hypermail/ifx/date.html

(majordomo at pwg.org to subscribe, listname is ifx.)

-JimC




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