Hello World.PDF

Kevin Altis (kevin@scic.intel.com)
Wed, 21 Jul 1993 17:21:50 -0800

This is hardly a fair metric! It's like saying a C compiler is
inefficient 'cause it produces binaries that are 1200K in size
just to say Hello World, so let's use Microsoft Basic instead.

I have taken a 5 page document including a couple of diagrams and
run it through the Distiller. The resulting file was 57K in size.
The original file in MS Word was 82K. A flat Postscript version of
the same document was 118K. Word counts 13.5K words in the document;
when saved as flat ASCII text it's 14K long.

The point is that you cannot extrapolate from a trivial example to
anything meaningful. A rule of thumb from Adobe is that documents
without a lot of fancy diagrams are only about 25% larger than the
underlying flat ASCII files; I haven't measured that with text-only

And of course the stuff is not human readable -- that's not the purpose,
and it'd be impossible to provide this kind of functionality in
readable text. JPEG files aren't readable either.

The Acrobat Starter kit is relatively cheap, especially for educational
institutions. I've begun playing with the stuff and feel I've got a
lot to learn before any evaluations can be made. I'd urge other sites
to get hold of the kit or wait for careful evaluations in the trade
rags before jumping to conclusions.

/Rich Wiggins, Gopher Coordinator, Michigan State U

PS -- Has an Acrobat news group started anywhere? Rather than spilling
this discussion into a bunch of newsgroups that already have plenty
to talk about, should we find one or create alt.acrobat?

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Below is a PDF file I created on a Macintosh. I did this because many
people probably haven't seen the heart of the PDF beast yet ;> It doesn't
get much simpler. All the file contained was "Hello World" without the
quotes to be printed on an 8.5" x 11" page. I made the typeface Courier, so
that the PDF file wouldn't contain lots of font metric information, if I
would have used a TrueType font the file would have been much larger (about
2500 bytes for a scaleable font like TrueType Geneva). The point here is
that PDF is not simple, it is like a PostScript superset, oriented towards
presentation, not content. The files are fairly large; in this example the
11 characters of Hello World turned into a 942 character PDF file, almost
100 times larger than the original, of course I didn't use the LZW encoding
for the text :). Like PostScript, this is not very human readable.