Re: Adobe's PDF

Kevin Altis (
Mon, 19 Jul 1993 13:55:23 -0800

At 1:09 PM 7/19/93 -0700, Daniel Miles Kehoe wrote:
>Kevin Altis makes the point
>> While PDF has promise, it has a completely different focus than the
>> Web right now, specifically presentation instead of structured
>> documents.
>Yes, very true. PDF and WWW will be used differently. HTML is
>suitable for structured documents. PDF is suitable (Adobe tells us)
>for cross-platform exchange of unstructured documents.
>There may be times we want to include unstructured documents within
>an HTML document. For example, drawings or maps. Or documents that
>were created in applications that don't translate to HTML.

There are already an overwhelming number of documents like this that we
reference and want to reference in the future, including many bitmap
formats, PostScript, dvi, spreadsheets, formatted documents from various
word processors, etc. Support for PDF should be through the same mechanism
as handling PostScript documents or any other non-HTML document that will
be displayed or rendered by a different application or DLL (in the case of
Mac or Windows) rather than the browser itself. Translation of other
documents to PDF or encapsulation of some sort would consume too much time
and space. A browser should not have to understand PDF.

I discussed some of the methods that could be used to provide hypertext
references to non-HTML material in an earlier message (LinkToLiving). This
needs to be addressed for the existing large body of non-HTML documents
since those documents will always outnumber HTML documents by several
orders of magntitude. PDF is a minor issue in comparison.