Re: Office 2007, XSL-FO, and the Adobe "Save as PDF"
I have some experience with publishing companies (more than most, I would bet) and they do not use tools to convert XML to PDF. If they are going to output to PDF they go straight to PDF and the /real/ source is long gone or in some proprietary binary format (probably most likely) when the document lives.
Opinions vary. Though I wouldn't use the word "[expletive deleted]", I agree that PDF is not always the best choice, depending on circumstances. But, in a lot of cases, PDF is the only choice, or maybe the first choice if PS can be considered second. Reasons for choosing PDF can be:
1. It's the only format allowed by European Guidelines to use for legal archiving of such things as bills, letters, invoices etc. When using WORM, I have seen no examples yet of any other format then PDF.
2. Though it may "[expletive deleted]", it *is* portable. Not so much can be said of MS Word. PS is also portable and OO is too.
3. Perhaps most important: people know PDF, it's market penetration is very high. It is, perhaps ufortunate, but I think not so, the de facto standard when sharing documents.
4. The printing industry can work very easily with PDF and PS, but has a real hard time working with MS Word, let alone OO. This is largely because PDF so closely resembles PS.
5. PDF's footprint is small (ok, depending on your design), especially for very large documents.
6. PDF is very stable, which is definitely not the case for MS Word and OO Write. Ever tried opening and splitsing a 50.000 page archived document, because you only needed pages 12.544 and 43.211? I have seen it in action in the printing industry and really, you don't want to try that with OO and/or MS Word!
7. If anything, PDF is definitely easiest to create using third party tools, much easier then MS Word or OO, if only because so many tools support it out of the box.
If you need any more reasons for using PDF, this list can be of any length. Granted, PDF is far from perfect, but compared to imperfect alternatives, it is really the best choice in many use cases.
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