This week in PDF: Bad moon rising…

This week in PDF sees Planet PDF launch a new book promotion, the release of a new PDF library and the Ghent PDF Workgroup’s (GWG) 4th birthday, but the news eating up everyone’s column inches is the storm brewing between M$ and the not-so-little company that John (Warnock) built.

Since it’s first and foremost in our minds, let’s start with the showdown at the OK Corral, shall we? While the issue is covered in more detail in Karl De Abrew’s opinion piece on Planet PDF, the basic gist is this: Adobe doesn’t like the idea of a free and ubiquitous PDF creation widget being built-in to Office ’12’, and has cried foul. Similarly, Adobe also dislikes the possibility that Office users will be able to freely export to Microsoft’s own PDF-esque XPS format. As a result, Adobe has demanded that Microsoft offer the conversion features as separate, commercial add-ins to the core Office ’12’ product. These demands can be backed up with the ‘big stick’ threat of an antitrust lawsuit. Of course, everything we’ve all heard has ultimately come from Microsoft — Adobe has been stoicly silent about the entire affair.

Just in: Adobe have provided a response to Planet PDF on their official position.

In a decided break from tradition, the Redmond-based ‘Evil Empire’ has acceded to these demands — at least, to a point. Microsoft still refuses to charge for the separated conversion add-ins. PDFzone’s Don Fluckinger posits that this could be due to an as-yet-undisclosed ‘Death Star-terrible-PDF-eating technology’ in Microsoft’s development pipeline. Perhaps, and perhaps not, but you’ll definitely hear more about this ‘Op-ed-column-inch-eating’ news as it develops.

On a somewhat lighter note, Planet PDF has launched a new book promotion this week. Every other week, Planet PDF will be randomly drawing five lucky winners to take home a copy of Adobe Reader 7 Revealed: Working Effectively with Acrobat PDF Files or Adobe Acrobat 7 PDF Bible by Ted Padova. Alternatively, they could win a copy of Adobe Acrobat 7 Tips & Tricks by Donna Baker. All you need to do to go into the running is visit our contest entry page, and answer our qualifying question, which is:

‘Briefly (1-2 paragraphs at most) explain your favorite, personal or organizational, tip or trick using Adobe Acrobat 7 or Adobe Reader 7 – a tip or trick that saves you time, makes your workflow effortless or is simply so cool you would like to share it with Planet PDF’s community.’

Get your entries in today!

Ahem! Well, now that that bit of housekeeping is out of the way, let’s talk about the new version of soft Xpansion’s PDF library. Designed for use with C++ and other languages with COM support, the updated library allows developers to integrate PDF creation, management, editing and display functionality into their own applications, and is designed to work for Windows systems. More information can be found on the vendor Web site.

Last but not least, standards body the GWG has celebrated the 4th anniversary of its inception in mid-2002. It has celebrated the milestone by forging ahead with business, including the election of new officers for its executive committee and launching a revamped Web site. For more information on the GWG, check out its brand-spanking-new Web site.

That’s it for this week! Until next time…

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About the Author: Dan Shea

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