Two observations on this...
--On Wednesday, June 14, 2006 22:16 -0400 John L
The key question is whether there exists a format which is
likely to be sufficiently stable that we won't have to
revisit this decision in another 35 years. All the proposed
formats - including PDF, XML, etc. - are moving targets at
That's why I suggested GIF. Like ASCII, GIF has its
shortcomings, but its definition hasn't changed in 16 years
and I've never seen GIF software that doesn't interoperate.
But one of the important criteria for an acceptable alternate
form, one which came up in the earlier discussion on this list,
is that the format be searchable. With PDF, page-image forms
may not permit that but, as far as I know, searching inside GIFs
is impossible except perhaps via fancy AI tools and heuristics.
More generally and to reinforce a point that I think Bob Braden
made, I believe there was general consensus on this IETF list
when the earlier discussion occurred that PDF, if it was to be
used, be narrowly profiled so as to permit only those variations
that appeared to be stable and meet various other criteria,
notably ease of searching and extraction by text copying
operations. It seems to me that this draft, by omitting
specifics about versions and features of PDF to be permitted
and, if it isn't obvious, how the submission or editing process
automatically verifies that those rules were followed, is not
responsive to that consensus. Arguably, on that basis, it
should never have been Last Called.
Ietf mailing list