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January 28, 2007

PDF spec released!

I’m so excited about our announcement earlier today. In case you didn’t see the Press Release, Adobe has offered up the PDF specification (version 1.7) to the International Standards Organization (ISO). AIIM will be the facilitator.

As a long time Acrobat and PDF user and evangelist, this news and decision by our executive team will ensure a long-lasting PDF community within government, education, and business organizations world-wide. It is clearly the next logical step for PDF as a standard. ISO has already ratified PDF/X and PDF/A, with PDF/E just around the corner.

Leonard Rosenthol, Technical Standards Evangelist at Adobe has prepared an excellent outline of the history of PDF as an open technology on his blog

We have an FAQ posted, but please feel free to comment here if you have questions about the announcement.

If you want to chat in person, I’m aware of the following events this week:
- Joel Geraci, who has taken over for me as Acrobat/PDF Technical Evangelist, is at the Lyra Symposium.
- Rick Borstein, the voice behind the Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog , is at LegalTech.
- I’ll be at Smart Geometry Workshop & Conference in NYC.

COMMENTS

  • By Rosyna - 1:10 AM on January 29, 2007  

    How will this affect the ability to revoke a license to PDF if the licensee doesn’t follow the spec and corrupts it, potentially via embrace, extend, extinguish?

  • By Lori DeFurio - 1:37 AM on January 29, 2007  

    Adobe only gives permission to third parties to use the PDF specification for the purposes of creating, manipulating, or viewing PDF files. If a third party, in the course of one of these actions, does not conform to the PDF specification, that is their choice, although highly unadvised by Adobe because then the most common PDF tools (Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, etc.) may not process the file correctly. This means the hundreds of millions of customers of Adobe Reader, for example, might not be able to consume the PDF file and therefore the third party vendor would be unlikely to have many customers using their tools. There are many developers who have extended PDF in the past to add their own, private content that only their tools can consume. That has worked fine for their customers. However, it’s meant that non-customers could not take advantage of those additions.

    With regards to approved standards, the party making the tool either conforms or doesn’t. If they don’t, they can not claim that they conform to the standard, which could be an issue for their customers. Adobe will continue to make our products accept files that conform to the PDF specification.