PDF slated to become ISO standard, “all inclusive”

Adobe announced today thatwe are working with AIIM to ensure that the complete PDF 1.7 specification (the latest format version utilized by Acrobat and Reader 8) becomes a full de jure standard. Subsets of PDF have already become full open standards, including ISO-standard PDF/A which encompasses the most widely utilzed PDF capabilities, but this marks that first time that we have agreed to submit the full language specification for official standardization, and as well per Adobe comments in this PDFZone article indicated an intention to work within a standards group, rather than unilaterally, as we enhance PDF in the future.
It’s been clear for some time that it’s “game over” with respect to standardization of final-form paginated content. PDF is so well entrenched, and is already used in so many contexts that have nothing to do with Adobe, and there is simply no rational reason to reinvent the wheel. Along with our Mars initiative to create an XML-friendly serialization of the PDF file format, this incremental step towards official standardization should cement PDF’s role as a global core information format.
The evolution towards having a neutral organization driving standardization of PDF is in part a reflection of the maturing IT standards environment. Adobe is taking a collaborative community-based approach in many other areas, such as our work within the IDPF on OPS (Open Publication Structure), which we expect to play a complementary role to PDF for digital distribution of reflow-centric text-based content.

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