Hi all -
As Thomas pointed out, PDF/A is a "restricted" version of PDF to ensure long-term access to content. PDF/A was initially developed as an electronic representation of paper that would be available for extremely long periods of time (for the nuclear industry, that can be thousands of years). Therefore, items which are restricted include non-embedded fonts (both for accurate visual representation and because fonts are intellectual property) and encryption, as well as other items which could impact the access to and look/feel of the original file.
The PDF/A working group (www.aiim.org/pdfa) is working on the next version of PDF/A (PDF/A-2), which will be harmonized with PDF 1.7 (aka ISO 32000). This next version won't, however, include some of the items noted below: a discussion of requirements for richer media is underway as part of the requirements gathering for PDF/A-3.
I'd encourage anyone who's interested in this to join the PDF/A working group, particularly if you'd like to ensure that these requirements are included in PDF/A-3.
Diana Helander Group Manager Standards & Cross Vertical Solutions Adobe 601 Townsend St., 3rd Flr, San Francisco CA 94103 4 [log in to unmask]
From: etd-l Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Thomas Dowling
Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:23 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Image Formats in ETD PDF Files
On 09/10/2009 11:18 AM, Bill Donovan wrote:
> This issue has probably been debated in the past, but might be worth
> Now that the PDF file format (version 1.7) is an international standard
> (ISO 32000-1), is there any reason to continue to prefer PDF/A for
> archival purposes?
> If PDF/A is a stripped-down version of PDF, wouldn't it be better to
> employ the file format that supports a wider range of content?
As I understand it, the archival advantage of PDF/A is that it explicitly
disallows things that have are comparatively likely to become unusable or
inaccessible over the years: scripts, hyperlinks, non-embedded fonts, media.
It would be an interesting exercise to create a revised PDF/A with multimedia
support, specifying fully open, patent- and royalty-free media specs.
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