16 December 2007

Paperless office, PDF, XML, Zip...

From the Mac Dev Center, "My paperless office" by Gordon Meyer.

Gordon writes about how he used a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner to archive all his paper documents to digital form. He also mentions DevonThink, a digital document managing system, and 2 PDF utilities: Skim, a PDF reader and note taker for OSX released under the Modified BSD License, and hence Free software, and PDFPen, a tool to organize and overwrite PDFs.

Considering the Leopard version of Preview, it looks like Skim as well as PDFPen are becoming obsolete, as some comments seem to confirm...

The other day there was a link on Slashdot pointing to Jim King's "Inside PDF" blog, about the fact that PDF 1.7 was becoming an ISO standard.

I've been reading a number of Jim's posts and here are a few that may interest some of you. They are all a little theoretical but give very interesting insights on a number of existing major documentation formats.

Quotes from the respective pages.

PDF by Design

I named this blog "Inside PDF" because I anticipated telling you a lot about PDF technology – what is inside of a PDF file and why. I have spent most of the time so far talking about PDF and standards. So, I thought it was about time to do an entry about PDF itself. I believe that PDF has been so successful because of the caldron out of which it was brewed. By 1990 Adobe was quite successful with PostScript. By then we had helped over 60 other companies make printers, image setters, and other imaging devices that used PostScript. We had also shipped Display PostScript and the Steve Jobs NeXT machine was a computer whose operating system's imaging model was Display PostScript. So Adobe had had considerable experience in displaying documents on a screen...

XML Documents

Today I hope to tie together two previous blogs about OOXML and about XML For ....

I am sure you have often heard the term “XML Document.”  I hope you realized that that term is nearly meaningless just like the term “XML.”  We should never use either in polite conversation. Let me tell you some of the totally different uses for the term “XML Document” which render it a useless term, and maybe you will agree with me to banish it from our vocabularies...


Archiving Documents

Archiving is a rather loaded word since doing it can be a widely varying activity. In many situations, archiving PDF files is a very good solution. In fact it was so attractive to some US Government agencies that they encouraged their personnel to work on an ISO committee/working group to define a special subset of PDF called PDF/A that meets their needs better than plain old PDF might...


ZIP Archives and Portable Directories

This is a topic that is dear to my heart and I would love to spur some interest in creating an open source project or something like that. Since about 1999 I have been talking to my colleagues about a concept that I call "portable directories." It is a simple idea once you "get it."

File systems, organized around the notion of directories or folders in which to collect files and other directories, have been the staple for how we save computer material on our hard drives, data CDs and DVDs, etc. I suppose it had its invention from an analogy with a file cabinet, but on the computer we can nest folders inside folders to any depth, something hard to do with real physical folders...