Timothy A. McDaniel tmcd at
Tue Sep 12 09:47:57 PDT 2000

Colin wrote:
> Wazzza PDF?

"Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)", developed by
Adobe Systems Inc., 

Some hype from that Web site:

"the third largest PC software company in the U.S., with annual
revenues of $1 billion. It employs over 2,600 employees

"Tired of colleagues not being able to open your documents?
Frustrated by software and platform incompatibilities that
destroy your documents' look and feel?  You need Adobe(R)
Acrobat(R) 4.0 software.  It's the most reliable, efficient, and
effective way to share information electronically.  Acrobat lets
you convert any document - including entire Web sites - into an
Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file, with its original
appearance preserved, and then distribute it for viewing and
printing on any system.  Powerful markup tools make electronic
review a snap, so you can collaborate more easily and
productively than ever before."

It *is* a relatively efficient encoding for documents and forms
that does tend to look the same from system to system, even
across the Windows-Linux divide.  Adobe has a large market share
in its niches: I think Adobe Photoshop is the most popular
image-manipulation software, and I think Adobe FrameMaker is
popular for professional publishing.

Adobe PDF is popular for those reasons, but more importantly
because Adobe distributes Adobe Acrobat Reader, a PDF file reader
and printer, for free, and makes it available as a plug-in for
the popular browsers.  PDF *generation* software costs, of

Daniel de Lincolia
Tim McDaniel is tmcd at; if that fail,
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