On Apr 26, 2004, at 9:59 AM, Ihab A.B. Awad wrote:
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.

That isn't quite true.

For example, Apple's Quartz technology is an alternative implementation of the PDF standard, and I use it regularly to read (and generate) PDF documents via the Internet. And I personally consider PDF a huge improvement over having to download MS Word documents, in terms of both user experience and cross-platform compatibility.

Rather than focus on trying to insist on an alternative to PDF - is there a viable one? - I would think it more effective to encourage the development of alternative software for using it. Apple has shown that it is at least possible.

I realize that Apple's technology on runs on the Mac. However, the fact that multiple PDF readers don't exist on other platforms could be considered a limitation of those platforms, rather than of PDF. :-)

Perhaps what you are really saying - which might be at least slightly relevant to this list - is that you only want governments to use document formats that are supported by open source implementations. Is that your point?

- Ernie P. (personal opinion only)
Ernest N. Prabhakar, Ph.D.
Product Manager, UNIX & Open Source
Mac OS X Product Marketing
(408) 974-3075 <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

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