linux in government

Doug.Palmer at Doug.Palmer at
Fri Nov 8 09:37:56 EST 2002

> As for PDF's, what's the problem?  

All the groovy annotation and collaboration tools built into full Acrobat. I
don't know of any open-source reader/editor that supports these. Actually, I
don't know if there are any non-open source equivilents, since Adobe (boo,
hiss) only produce full Acrobat for Windows and MacOS.

I'd have quite happly paid for a full PDF tool when Alison was writing her
thesis in LaTeX. It becomes complicated when you want to send drafts to your
supervisors for comment. What to do? Paper's wasteful and slow. But without
any decent annotation tools, PDF's hopelessly onerous. (As it turned out,
two paper rounds was really all it needed. But things could have got quite
difficult and the turn-around time was a real problem.) 

The pressure is on to use Word, with its comment and change tracking tools.
But writing a thesis in Word is an act of sheer insanity. The figures
suddenly splat themselves over the text, the captions go astray, the styles
undergo mysterious changes and it's got a habit of subtly screwing up large
files. Alison is of the opinion that she never would have finished if she
had used Word, since the extra effort would have killed it. With LaTeX/PDF
having decent collaboration tools, it would be an absolute killer app for
people producing large, complex, write/comment style documents.

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