I had wanted to comment on this string before, but only now have the
moment. The first thing is that we should not necessarily dismiss
"proprietary" as evil in itself. As much as I dislike Microsoft, the
vast majority of people and organizations I deal with both with the IDN
and my full-time employment use Microsoft Word. But there are outliers.
When the IDN started its daily newsletter, I had wanted to do it in PDF
so that I could format it the way I wanted. However, while some
subscribers preferred PDF, others wanted it in Word, others wanted it in
WordPerfect, and still others wanted it in Rich Text. Not only was it
labor intensive, but all links had to be recreated once the document was
printed to the PDF Driver.
The compromise? It is now done in HTML Format, which makes it difficult
to include graphics and other objects (without adding extra files to the
message and instructing them on what to do with the files), but I know
that everyone can read it.
When I post documents to web sites (and one rule of thumb is NEVER,
NEVER send a file as an attachment or risk the wrath of those who did
not want it and are paying by the minute for connect time), is that they
are made available in 3 formats: The original (whether it be Word or
WordPerfect), PDF, and Rich text.
Finally, don't assume everyone should have the Acrobat reader. Until
ISPs start providing it as part of their start-up packages, most people
will not spend the time required to download and install it.
Acrobat may be proprietary, but it has become a de facto standard
because like Photoshop, there are not a whole lot of products that can
touch it (especially for Graphic Artists who would cut off their arms
and legs faster than they would use anything but Photoshop or a Mac).
p.s. To the Good Doctor and other Linux fans: Lotus Corporation has
announced the Notes 5.0 will ship a Linux version.
Irfan Khan wrote:
> On 14 Feb 99, at 11:54, Dr Eberhard W Lisse wrote:
> << SGML is probably the best format to use, because it can easily be transformed into most output formats.
> PDF/PS allow inclusing of pix so it is well suited for printeable stuff.
> One format which must not be used under any circumstances is a proprietary one, such as Microsnot's Word. >>
> while the word format is proprietary, it may be manipulated by non- microsoft software, including those available under GPL. for example, LAOLA [http://wwwwbs.cs.tu-berlin.de/~schwartz/pmh/laola.html]. also check, The Filters Project [http://arturo.directmail.org/filters/].
> it would not be out of place to mention that both PDF and PS are trademarks of Adobe. so as such they are proprietary formats. since the postscript format has become widespread, it is often seen as "non- proprietary".