by lrosenth


September 7, 2007

Wow! Who would ever believe that votes on standardizing document formats would draw such attention and be so dramatic. Will they make a TV mini-series about this?

Of course, I am referring to the recent rejection of OOXML by ISO’s JTC1, and this in spite of all the behind the scenes lobbying Microsoft has been doing to get enough votes.

Here is the official ISO announcement.

And what is even more amazing is Microsoft is now declaring this a success!

And look at this, also.

I am not one of those who hates Microsoft and I do not believe in taking pot shots at them even when they seem to ask for it, but this one seems to indicate that their PR machinery is much too powerful. I’m a technical guy and us technical types need to stick together to keep our companies from thinking they can change reality with press releases. They lost this one folks, big time and declaring it a success doesn’t make it so.

My name is Jim King and I am the PDF Architect for Adobe. As I hope you know, Adobe is in the process of moving PDF, an existing de facto standard, to be under public (ISO) standards control.

Here is the Adobe press release about it.

I am the Adobe technical lead for this effort so am watching other standards activities with more than great interest. Although I will explain why what Microsoft is doing is very different from what Adobe is doing, when the area around you starts to feel like Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, you have two choices: hide or flee. At Adobe we are not sure which to do.

Maybe there is a third alternative: just jump up and shout “don’t shoot” our hats are blue (or gray). The trouble with that one is you might get shot anyway if your shouts are not heard or if the fire is coming from both sides.

Maybe you can help me guide Adobe to a successfully transfer of the ownership of PDF into ISO’s public hands over the next few months. To me this is a very noble effort: giving away to the public something that Adobe holds near and dear.

In this blog I also plan to talk about many other PDF topics, not just standards. So let’s see if we can keep you coming back. Next time I will give my opinion of what Adobe is doing with PDF and why it is really different from what Microsoft is doing with OOXML.

Contact me at:


  • By ted padova - 1:36 PM on September 12, 2007  

    Hi Jim,It’s great to see you hosting a blog on PDF. I look forward to your many words of wisdom on this site.Best Wishes,ted