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Re: [Groff] conversion to DOC format

From: Larry Kollar
Subject: Re: [Groff] conversion to DOC format
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 22:17:19 -0400

Jeff Conrad wrote:

Security, of course, is another advantage of PDF: in addition to preventing
alteration, the author can set other restrictions.  On one consulting
assignment, all of my reports disallowed content extraction via cut and
paste (it's a long story ...). I couldn't have done this with a .doc file.

OTOH, PDF's "security" is akin to putting up a sign on your door saying
"Keep Out" and leaving the door unlocked. Tools like GhostScript will
walk right past the sign. I've had to take the sign off several PDF files at
work... like when someone got laid off but managed to lock the PDF &
delete the source files before getting marched out.

I don't understand why people refuse to accept PDF as an alternative, given
the free availability of the latest version of Acrobat Reader, vs. the
difficulties in reading some of the different Word formats.

Reader 6 is a bloated monstrosity, for starters. I ended up deleting it &
going back to v5 on my system. But even more importantly, people
want to annotate, copy & paste, abridge, and you can't do that with a
PDF unless you want to pay Adobe for the privilege.  If I had a dime for
every time a co-worker has come by my cube asking me if I can "get
the Word file back out of this PDF," I could buy myself a decent lunch.
That's why people prefer Word files, warts and all. In a superficial way,
it's like the difference between AT&T troff and groff -- you can hack on
one of them.

Don't get me wrong, we distribute completed documentation in PDF
format at work, too. But I don't put any locks on it. It's like Adobe says,
"electronic paper."

Larry Kollar     k  o  l  l  a  r  @  a  l  l  t  e  l  .  n  e  t
Unix Text Processing: "UTP Revival"

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