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On 06/20/2012 06:39 AM, Walther Koehler wrote:
High Tom,

yes PDF is free meaning you have not to pay in advance, a least as you use
only basic functions and its not a commercial use. But what when you
a document with special features?
Ask for another format, or ask to file the same document in some other
way. Complain, complain, complain. Be very precise about why it's not a
good practice to do that.

Its the same situation I had at the university long time ago: At this time
MSWord was "free" in the sense that nobody cared where you get your
from, and all students used it and requesetd its use in their offces later


To the extent that LibreOffice integrates PDF import and export
functions, there isn't much point in extending this discussion much
longer unless one can propose a valid, better/equivalent alternative. I
personally think an online implementation (via web forms+database/email)
is better suited for this specific case. I can't see a good reason to
use PDF forms except in exceptionally highly custom-formatted scenarios.
Then again, if your questionnaire requires such formatting it may
benefit from some simplification. Here's a list of possible technical
issues of using PDF:

If and when there is absolutely no alternative to using a PDF, I'd
suggest you point your audience to this resource for a good, free+open
source PDF reader:

Adobe's reader software is notoriously bloated, and the frequent updates
are there because the reader includes several other dozen formats that
Adobe wants to be readable on every system it's installed on (in
addition to advanced features only available in commercial versions)

What about patents and openness of the PDF standard? This page provides
such details:

Microsoft licenses are vey much 100% free and legal to obtain by
students/faculty staff pretty much worldwide now:

It's not the same situation with MS software although I see your point.
No Microsoft software is considered an ISO standard and there aren't
100% free open source software implementations of any MS software that I
know of as is the case with the PDF format, so I'd be use such examples
with care - otherwise you'll get the opposite effect when trying to
advocate free, open standards.


Fabián Rodríguez

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