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PDF Is Now ISO 32000 410

Posted by kdawson
from the long-and-winding-road dept.
It is official. As PDF Architect Jim King blogged today, Adobe has received word that the ballot for approval of PDF 1.7 to become the ISO 32000 Standard (DIS) has passed by a vote of 13 positive to 1 negative. A two-thirds majority is required to pass so it was a large margin of victory (93%). The vote breaks down as follows: Countries voting positive with no comments (9): Australia, Bulgaria, China, Japan, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine. Countries voting positive with comments (4): UK (13 comments), USA (125), Germany (11), Switzerland (19). Countries voting negative with comments (1): France (37 comments). Countries abstaining (1): Russia.
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PDF Is Now ISO 32000

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  • ISO? (Score:5, Funny)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@g m a il.com> on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:16PM (#21581019) Homepage Journal
    So where can I download an ISO of PDF tools?
    • Re:ISO? (Score:5, Informative)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @12:06AM (#21581389) Homepage Journal
      While I realize this is supposed to be an amusing turn of phrase, there are actually quite a few tools out there. A few that I like are:

      PDFBox [pdfbox.org] - OSS Library for modifying PDFs on the fly.
      FOP [apache.org] - Use XSL-FO to design printable page layouts in XML, then use FOP to transform them to PDF documents.
      Foxit Tools [foxitsoftware.com] - Alternative to the overpriced Adobe products.
      OpenOffice [openoffice.org] - The built-in support for PDFs is absolutely wonderful. I rarely give out DOC files anymore.
      FPDF [fpdf.org] - PHP PDF generation tools.
      iText [lowagie.com] - A great library for your own custom PDF generation.

      Those are just a few. The PDF format itself is actually not too bad. (When Adobe isn't breaking it with needless revisions, that is.) It's biggest strength is that the psuedo-text nature of the format allows one to diagnose the internals of a file pretty easily. Its greatest weakness is that things like text fields are needlessly convoluted. At the end of the day, though, it's a pretty good format.
      • Re:ISO? (Score:4, Informative)

        by ortholattice (175065) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @01:12AM (#21581807)
        And last but hopefully not least, pdflatex and pdftex [tug.org]. You simply use "pdflatex" in place of the "latex" command to generate pdf output instead of dvi output, with much better quality than latex -> dvips -> ps2pdf (which unfortunately people who don't know better still use).
        • Re:ISO? (Score:4, Informative)

          by eggnoglatte (1047660) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:09AM (#21582099)
          I like pdflatex for when I am still writing on a document. For the final version, though, I find that ps2pdf gives me better control over image resizing, compression, and, most importantly, font embedding.
      • Re:ISO? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Yahma (1004476) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:34AM (#21582471) Journal
        Don't forget:
        PDFLib [pdflib.com] - The standard (and powerful) PDF Library for PHP5
        PDFLib Lite [pdflib.com] - The OpenSource version of the above
        FPDI [setasign.de] - Imports existing PDF documents into FPDF

        PDFLib Lite is a great tool for dynamically creating PDF documents on the FLY with PHP. Or, FPDF & FPDI if you don't mind a slight performance hit.

      • Re:ISO? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Dana P'Simer (530866) <dana DOT psimer AT dhptech DOT com> on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @09:20AM (#21583973) Journal
        On Mac OS every print dialog has an option to print to PDF instead of the printer. Very Handy!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by XSforMe (446716)
        Hard to believe no one has mentioned PDFCreator. An excellent option for end users, it will interface with any windows program which supports printing. Open source, lightweight and very handy.

        http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/ [sourceforge.net]
    • by Anonymous Coward
      What a useless format, it's not even in XML.
  • France... (Score:5, Funny)

    by nebaz (453974) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:17PM (#21581023)
    We should rename the application "Freedom Bat Reader", to protest their no vote.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by iminplaya (723125)
      Would you like Adobe Fries with that? Made from real Adobe
  • Comments? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Khaed (544779) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:23PM (#21581067)
    I don't suppose there's a link anywhere to read the comments, especially those of the lone dissenting country? I'm curious as to their reasoning.
  • In case we forget. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Protonk (599901) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:26PM (#21581087) Homepage
    Another standard from our friends the ISO [wikipedia.org]. I'm glad the .pdf is now a documented standard, but this doesn't really mean TOO much in the document world. It might convince a few pointy-haired bosses that .pdf is MUCH better than develpoing some internal document handling protocol due to the imposing and convincing sound the standard makes when spoken, but I know that most of the ISO standardization process is in name only.

    Let's not get started about process and quality management and the yellow sticky of approval that is ISO-9000.
  • Go Figure on France (Score:3, Informative)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:27PM (#21581095) Homepage Journal
    But then again, I know many French people, and they're opposed to proprietary software becoming an ISO standard, especially with patent and copyright as it stands now here in the US.
    • I know many French people, and they're opposed to proprietary software becoming an ISO standard, especially with patent and copyright as it stands now here in the US.

      What? This is about the PDF format becoming a standard not about any proprietary software. If we called it PDF ala XPDF the free and open source PDF reader, would the French be more in support of it? As for copyright and patent, there is a free as in beer license that provides patent protection for anyone making PDF tools that adhere to the standard.

    • by 4D6963 (933028) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:08AM (#21582093)

      But then again, I know many French people, and they're opposed to proprietary software becoming an ISO standard, especially with patent and copyright as it stands now here in the US.

      Dude, I'm French, I live in France, and not only do I not have an opinion on whether or not proprietary software becoming an ISO standard is bad, but I don't know anyone here or matter of fact anywhere who would have an opinion on this or even hear about such a process.

      Where on Earth do you find your Frenchmen? And why on Earth do you all act like we're all behind this vote? We've got riots and strikes going on, but wait, PDF is about to become an ISO standard! Let's all stop burning cars to prevent this from happening! Merde, too late! What will become of us!?!

  • Adobe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:28PM (#21581109)
    Great, now just make a reader that doesn't slow my system down to a crawl while opening a 100K document.
    • by RobinH (124750)
      Great, now just make a reader that doesn't slow my system down to a crawl while opening a 100K document.

      Do you think it would open any faster if the same document was compressed down to 10K?

      I think the point you're trying to make is that the reader's footprint is too large.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Already done. Evince [wikipedia.org] and KPDF [wikipedia.org] are both great pdf readers. Okular [wikipedia.org] seems pretty nice too.
    • Re:Adobe (Score:5, Informative)

      by PenGun (794213) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:52PM (#21581307) Homepage
      Xpdf opens a 114M file in under 2 secs and a 25M one is pretty well instantaneous. Some kind of windose problem no doubt.
    • Re:Adobe (Score:5, Informative)

      by forkazoo (138186) <(wrosecrans) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @12:42AM (#21581613) Homepage

      Great, now just make a reader that doesn't slow my system down to a crawl while opening a 100K document.


      The whole point of standardization is that it doesn't matter what Adobe does. Anybody can impliment the standard without too much trouble. Though, in practice, it was a DeFacto standard anyway, and there is already a ton of software that supports PDF. I haven't used Adobe's PDF reader in years.

      xpdf, kpdf, Preview.app, Foxit Reader, etc. all work and between them probably support damn near any platform you would want to use. I use Foxit on my Windows machines, and I find it to be very convenient software which is fast, light, and mostly stays out of my way.
  • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:28PM (#21581113)
    I dunno much, but ISO 32000 ought to be able to record photos in the very darkest of dark places.
    It's too bad they'll be saved as PDFs, I prefer to shoot RAW.

    • by RuBLed (995686)
      It could, but it would be as dark as the very darkest of dark places... (are you by any chance talking about red light districts?)
      • by 7Prime (871679) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @12:57AM (#21581711) Homepage Journal
        Actually, he's making a joke about high-speed film (ISO in photography refers to the light-sensitivity of film, as standardized by the ISO council). Film with a high ISO rating is very "fast" which means that it can shoot in very dimly lit situations. 32000 ISO, however, is fucking insane. You could pick up big-bang background noise with that shit!
        • Professional photography jokes, what a riot. Personally I would have gone for the cheap blind date advertisement joke... you know, "PDF is ISO 32000 ... likes tango dancing, long walks on the beach, and platform-independent compression of digital documents..."
        • by RedBear (207369) <redbear.redbearnet@com> on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:15AM (#21582411) Homepage
          Film with a high ISO rating is very "fast" which means that it can shoot in very dimly lit situations. 32000 ISO, however, is fucking insane. You could pick up big-bang background noise with that shit!

          It's not insane, it's just one "f-stop" more sensitive to light than ISO 16000, which is one f-stop more sensitive than ISO 8000. We've already had ISO 6400 film for decades, and right now on the market there are a couple of cameras (like the latest flagship digital SLR from Nikon) with ISO 26500. Yes, that's twenty-six thousand, five hundred. Don't ask me how or why they did it, but they did. Nothing particularly crazy about it, in fact it's a great thing for those who need to use high shutter speeds in low light and/or can't afford ultra-expensive large aperture lenses.

          Within ten years we no doubt will be seeing some digital cameras with ISO 32000 or higher sensitivities. Now if they'd just do something about the extremely limited dynamic range...

    • by AEton (654737)
      You can do a little bit better with a D3.
    • by hamisht (197412) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @12:45AM (#21581637)
      You mean we could finally get a picture of a grue?
  • by CranberryKing (776846) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:45PM (#21581255)
    Russia:

    "After long internal deliberation, we have arrived at an official position. We don't give a shit."
  • by ComputerPhreak (1057874) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @11:57PM (#21581337)
    It's sad that PDF, which seems like a pretty good format to me, has earned such a poor reputation. It has nothing to do with the format, rather, it has everything to do with the shitty software Adobe has put out to read PDFs. Sure, recent versions of Reader have improved loading time, and there are alternative packages available for reading, but the precedent was set around the time Reader 6 or 7 came out, as PDF usage was exploding. I grimmace everytime I see a link to a PDF on my Windows machine or on a Solaris workstation. Both have Reader installed, and it is a truly shitty piece of software: the load time is far too long (even with the latest improvements), it has embedded ads, the interface doesn't match the platform's Look & Feel well... the list goes on. Adobe could do a lot to spur the popularity of PDF by releasing a really high quality reader... but the damage may have already been too great.
  • Bad Number (Score:4, Funny)

    by shemnon (77367) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @12:01AM (#21581359) Journal
    Number could have been better. Should have been ISO 32768. And the OSS implementations could have been called 32Kib. So close, yet so far.
  • GNUpdf Library (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brandon30X (34344) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:16AM (#21582421)
    This is very interesting considering I just heard about http://gnupdf.org/Goals_and_Motivations [gnupdf.org] today. As I understand this project will allow editing of pdfs, a feature which is lacking in current FOSS pdf tools.

    -Brandon
  • Questions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:28AM (#21582455) Homepage Journal
    I don't have time to RTFA before I go to work, but perhaps someone could answer these questions for everyone's benefit:

    1. Is this the kind of standard that everybody can implement, or the kind of standard that will be used by PDF proponents to wave under the boss's nose and say "it's a Standard!" to get their format used over other (perhaps more open) formats?

    2. Does the standard extend to all the extra that are in Acrobat Reader but not in most other PDF readers (forms, annotations, etc.)? In my experience, PDF works fine as a print representation of a document, but some people love to use it for forms that have to be filled out, or for attaching comments to a document you sent them, and this currently causes interoperability problems.

    3. Why did France vote against?

  • by therufus (677843) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @05:30AM (#21582915)
    In Soviet Russia, ISO standard becomes PDF!!!!!

    Actually, that would work. It becomes a PDF so people could read it.

    Have we found an "in Soviet Russia" joke that doesn't work?
  • by yakumo.unr (833476) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:26AM (#21584491) Homepage
    Anyone think maybe Russia abstained as a cheeky protest against the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov in 2001? Seeing it's an Adobe product, and PDF in particular.

    He was arrested by the FBI in the US for DMCA Violation (which does not apply in Russia obviously), after Adobe complained about his production of AEBR for ElcomSoft, which cracks PDF passwords. No violation was committed on US soil.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Sklyarov [wikipedia.org]

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