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Re: papers for archive.org

On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 01:12, Mike Taylor <mike@indexdata.com> wrote:
> On 28 April 2010 23:25, Phillip Bigelow <bigelowp@juno.com> wrote:
>> In theory, everything you said is true.
>> Yet, I'll wager that a good 95% of the scientific literature from the 16th 
>> Century is still awaiting conversion to a digital medium, and that doesn't 
>> even include a substantial part of the literature from the 17th-20th 
>> Century. ÂThe date when that backlog will be converted is anyone's guess.
>> Converting PDFs into a "new improved" format is the easy part. ÂConverting 
>> everything that has already been put into PDF format is another matter 
>> entirely.
>> The various disciplines in the scientific community should convene a 
>> conference and "standardized" a version of PDF (I vote for ver. 5), and 
>> require that all archives use that format ad infinitum. ÂAdobe would be 
>> xxxxxxxx bricks over such an treasonous act by their own consumers, but 
>> legally the company would have no way to retaliate. ÂNo one would be 
>> infringing on their business (they could still sell new versions).
> This would be great.
> But better still would be the adoption of the PDF/A subformat
> Â Â Â Âhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF/A
> which is defined specifically for long-term archiving, and is
> implemented from Acrobat 5 upwards (and in most of the alternative PDF
> reading programs). ÂBest of all, it's defined in an ISO standard, and
> so not under the control of a commercial company with an unavoidable
> profit agenda.
> (Bizarrely, the standard is not freely available -- you are supposed
> to pay for downloads. ÂBut I think we all know that there are easy
> ways to read most documents that you want to read.)

As a computer person who happens to subscribe to this list, I definitely
agree that the PDF/A  ISO standard is the way to go (currently based on
PDF1.4, a PDF 1.7-based update should be out this year, but it may
make sense to stay with the old version for some time)  In general,
when doing serious work it is always best to use something approved
by one of the major standards organizations, that also has multiple
implementations, at least one of which is Open Source. PDF/A fits
these criteria.

Incidentally, if anyone is looking for a PDF reader besides Adobe's,
check out pdfreaders.org, a list of Free Software PDF readers. Evince
and Sumatra PDF are probably best for Windows. Evince is the most
advanced, but doesn't yet support fillable signature fields, bookmarks,
Javascript or creating new annotations, and it doesn't have a browser
plugin (just as well, Javascript and the browser plugin have helped
make Adobe Reader the #1 malware vector recently).

Kelly Clowers