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Re: [Fsfe-uk] New FSFE Free PDF Readers Campaign

From: Sam Tuke
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] New FSFE Free PDF Readers Campaign
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:37:04 +0200
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On Thursday 16 September 2010 12:17:38 Ralph Corderoy wrote:
> are any of the free PDF
> readers at the level where they can substitute for this type of use?

I don't have an answer yet for this particular case, but I think that its 
important not to compare all Free Software PDF readers to Acrobat Reader and 
turn it into a yardstick.

Acrobat Reader has many problems of its own, including incompatibility with 
government forms which meet ISO standards in cases where FS readers succeed, 
in some cases. It also has a history of serious security vulnerabilities.

Governments aren't obliged to stick to ISO PDF standards in the documents that 
they create, and when they don't, FS PDF readers can't be blamed for problems 
with reading them.

Therefore the question should not be "are any Free Software PDF readers as 
good as Adobe's?" but rather "do any Free Software PDF readers fully implement 
ISO PDF standards?", or in cases of specific complex PDF forms "does this form 
conform to ISO PDF standards? If not, why not?".

Trying to chase Adobe's non standard implementation of PDF is a hopeless 
endeavour - we should all be chasing full ISO standard compliance, and this 
includes the governments who publish documents in PDF.



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