Planet PDF Weblog
A daily chronicle of Acrobat/PDF-oriented newsbits

For week beginning 28 October 2002
By Kurt Foss, Planet PDF Editor

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

NOTE: Previous Weblogs will be archived at the end of each week, and start fresh here. You can also catch up on last week's Weblog.


Buy a Vowel?: According to Ivan Koon, Adobe's Senior Vice President for ePaper Products, you can kiss the term "eForms" goodbye -- and while you're at it, also cross off eDocuments and ePresentments. Koon told the assembled tech press and industry analysts at an Adobe Systems financial pow-wow today that these terms are being discontinued at Adobe. Now in Vogue instead:

  • Document Generation (replaces eDocuments and ePresentment)
  • Document Process Management (replaces eForms)

Question: When Adobe finishes banishing (or selling off) its surplus vowels, have we also seen the last of "ePaper?" (Hopefully they'll keep at least one -- or version 6 will be "Adob" Acrobat.)

What do YOU think? Time to eLiminate ePaper as a term of reference, if not endearment? And if so, what takes its place? Let us know!


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Betting the Farm on PDF Cash Cow: As we've noted here before, Acrobat's continuing future as a product at Adobe Systems wasn't really assured until at least version 3.0, when it seemed to finally begin catching on. For one thing, many potential customers weren't totally clear (and some still aren't) whether it was fish or fowl, since Acrobat is truly a multi-faceted software program that can be part of a solution to a range of needs or problems.

But to hear Adobe President and CEO Bruce Chizen in his discussion today with, the company/product fortunes have in a sense been reversed. With With Adobe as of late having "seen better days," as Bloomberg describes its falling stock price and decreased sales and revenue, the company told analysts and investors yesterday that the key to its strategy of projected revenue growth next year rests to a considerable extent on Acrobat's broadening shoulders.

Currently Acrobat accounts for slightly more than 25 percent of the company's revenue. Chizen sees that figure soaring in the next three to five years. "Could it [Acrobat] be 50 percent of earnings?"

Chizen: Yes, yes. Or more?

Chizen: Or more, yes.

During the same interview, Chizen also said that "I believe three to five years from now, Adobe will be known as the company that has bridged the paper-to-digital divide."

In other words, as goes Acrobat, so goes Adobe. If v.3.0 was the turning point for Acrobat, then v. 6.0 -- which by most analyst calculations is expected to arrive in the first part of 2003 -- could be the breaking point. Its success will help to determine whether Adobe can once again re-invent itself, this time moving from a company peddling shrinkwrapped software to one deeply enmeshed in enabling the vital communication and electronic commerce processes of corporate enterprise and government agency customers. If it can successfully perform that challenging feat, it'll have lived up to its core product's moniker: Acrobat.


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Telemarketing Revenge: Not that there's any time you'd *like* them to call, but telemarketers seem to have a knack for routinely performing their dialing for dollars routine when you've just settled in for some peace and quiet -- and are least interested in trying to be conned into buying something you don't want. Ring!

Of course, you can always respond to such rudeness with more of same -- either allowing your answering machine to thwart the attempt (but others may follow), or by simply answering and hanging up. Swearing is optional.

But there's also a third option for those who actually *do* have the time and patience to stay on the phone -- but only for the purpose of the sort of delayed gratification that comes from turning the tables on the reading-from-a-script solicitator.

Telemarketing Counterscript

From the fight-fire-with-fire school of defense comes the "Anti-Telemarketing EGBG Counterscript," a one-page detailed script that gives you the same prepared responses as are being used against you. After all, if the paid caller seems so interested in information about you, shouldn't you know something about them?

Telemarketing Rebuttals

If you get really good at it, they may hang up on you!


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The More Things Don't Change: One of the bad news aspects about having easy access to more government information -- much of it in PDF -- is that it's not always good news.

Case in point is the release this week of a report titled "America Still Unprepared America Still in Danger" from an Independent Task Force Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. Its sobering conclusion: "America remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic attack on U.S. soil."


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eJudging Microsoft in PDF: If, as some recent reports suggest, Microsoft may be plotting an assault on PDF with its own electronic forms authoring tool (XDocs), could it be in part because they've grown tired of seeing court rulings with their name on it distributed in Adobe's portable document format? There was a fresh batch today, in case you missed the news that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia judge hearing the latest appeal in the latest monopoly/antitrust cases against Bill Gates and company issued her final rulings.

I learned about the much-anticipated legal decisions today not from the news media -- print, broadcast OR online -- covering the trial, and which of course began churning out the details as soon as Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's rulings were announced and made available. Nor was I in DC eagerly awaiting first word of the outcome.

No, I was in fact at the keyboard minding my own Planet PDF business when I got the first inkling a decision had been. The breaking news arrived via email, as seems to be more and more common these days.

Actually, it was much more than an inkling -- and not merely in the form of a few words of gossip from some tuned-in tech head either. Rather, it was an electronic message directly from the district court. This was no mere headline service. Attached to the email were the actual rulings themselves: seven separate PDF files containing various aspects of the judge's final decision in the cases.

MS Final PDFs via email

We hear the term "eGovernment" bandied about a lot these days, for better and for worse. The general notion is that the various branches of the government -- at all levels -- is trying to harness new technologies to better serve its "customers," first and foremost U.S. citizens. To my mind, this is a classic example of effective eGovernment at work.

And there's more to this tale of efficiency than just the arrival of today's official rulings in PDF. I'd even been alerted a day earlier with the following message:

E. Barrett Prettyman
United States Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, N. W.
Washington, D. C. 20001

At approximately 4: 30 p. m. on Friday, November 1, 2002, United States District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly will issue Opinions in the Microsoft cases.

  • At that time, copies of the Opinions can be downloaded in PDF format from the U. S. District Court's homepage,
  • Electronic notice, including a PDF version of the Opinions, will be sent to registered parties and other participants in the case via the Court's electronic case filing (ECF) system.
  • PDF versions also will be e-mailed to subscribers of the Court's e-mail notification service ("listserve") for the Microsoft case. Interested persons can subscribe to the service by going to the Microsoft Case link on the Court's homepage and following the instructions for e-mail notification.
  • The opinions will be distributed in electronic format only and will not be distributed by fax under any circumstances.

Simply by signing up a few month's ago at the district court's Web site for its new email notification service for receiving official news related to the Microsoft cases, I was able to benefit from this excellent example of proactive eGovernment. I suspect Bill Gates received personal copies a little sooner than I did, but probably not by much. If he did -- and if his were also in PDF -- he might have noticed one other thing that would surely annoy him more even more than PDFs.

Microsoft case PDFs doc info

Based at least on these documents, the court appears to use Corel Word Perfect -- not Microsoft Word -- for its word processing needs, from which it directly generates the PDFs. All of the official opinions for all of the Microsoft cases remain available for download, too.


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