On Monday 26 April 2004 02:53, Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
> Ihab A.B. Awad said on Sun, Apr 25, 2004 at 07:37:06PM -0700,:
>  > Should  the government  be thereby  institutionalizing  this format
>  > (Adobe Acrobat PDF)  to the benefit of the  one corporation (Adobe)
>  > that provides  tools to properly  edit it? ...
> FSF India says the government should not use  the portable document
> format. See http://www.gnu.org.in/philosophy/mitrules.html

Thank you for the link ... I didn't know about that!


Actually, with all due respect to FSF India's opinion -- which is pretty much 
what I would expect from FSF anywhere -- I claim the US tax agencies' policy 
fails an even weaker standard: that of the availability of more than one 
source for the software required to use the format.

The killer here is that you *can* use the PDF form -- but you just can't save 
an *editable* copy without paying $$$ to Adobe. So extra taxpayer money was 
spent creating PDF forms (as opposed to simply providing PDF to be printed 
and filled out in hardcopy). Then, to use this taxpayer-sponsored work, you 
end up shoehorned into the marketing campaign of the one and only source of 
software for it.




Ihab A.B. Awad
Snr Scientific Programmer, Dept of Genetics
Stanford University

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