Monday, November 21, 2005


I have nothing against Adobe. I have nothing against PDF. Listen PDF, it's not personal. I'm just tired of PDF popping up as a ubiquitous format on the web. Everyone uses it now-a-days. Want to download something? Put it in PDF. I can take that to a certain degree. Want to display information? Put that in a PDF file. That makes me mad. What happened to HTML or some other language that your browser will understand? If you put information in PDF format, you can't read it unless you have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Yes, I know the Reader is free. So is the browser, and it usually comes with the operating system. The other problem is that when you just want to view something online, you can't do it so well with PDF. Yes, I know that you can download an extension (or whatever it's called) but that's the point, more stuff to do. I have no studies to prove this but in my experience the size of a PDF download is usually much bigger than a HTML download. Plus, when a visitor comes to your website, she is not interested in downloading something that might not be of interest. If she wants to download your article or whatever, you let her do it AFTER she views it. For viewing online, HTML is a good option to consider. The IBM developerWorks website used to allow you to view an article online through a browser and also download it as a PDF, if you wanted. Good design sense. And, just for kicks, go visit the Adobe website ( and see how many PDFs you can download from the home page.


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