[pdftex] Adobe Battles Backward-Compatibility Woes

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Wed Mar 15 16:04:51 CET 2006

James Quirk wrote:
> On Wed, 15 Mar 2006, Martin Schr�der wrote:
>> On 2006-03-15 12:05:50 +0100, holop ferenc wrote:
>>> seems like pdf will be the next html :)
>>> sooner or later, welcome the pdf quirk mode :)
> Some of us have been using PDF in ``quirk mode'' for quite some time!
>> I pity everyone who has to maintain a pdf rendering application.
>> If you follow the specs, your application will not work well in
>> the real world (i.e. with "legacy documents" -- fonts are a
>> constant source of trouble). Making it work in the real world is
>> a constant challenge.
> One way of handling "legacy documents" would be for Adobe to introduce
> a system-hook whereby a PDF could be automatically filtered, before it 
> is passed to a viewer. The idea being that the filter translates what
> it finds into "compliant PDF," whatever that happens to be at
> the time of viewing.
Such filters have been around for a while: pdf/x cum suis compliance can be tested in acrobat 6 and higher. Unless one messes around with pdfliterals in uncontrolled ways, pdftex output is rather well pdf/x compliant.   

A weak spot in pdf files can be tricky things with annotations and javascripts and multi-media stuff; such (new) features have always been unstable, subjected to subtle changes, etc. I normally tend to not supporting things like that officially unless proven stable (enough) which often means skipping at least one version (of pdf or the viewer) 


                                          Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
              Ridderstraat 27 | 8061 GH Hasselt | The Netherlands
     tel: 038 477 53 69 | fax: 038 477 53 74 | www.pragma-ade.com
                                             | www.pragma-pod.nl

More information about the pdftex mailing list