Current Cites

This cite comes from the 03-14-12 issue of Current Cites.

LeFurgy, William G.. "PDF/A: Developing a File Format for Long-Term PreservationRLG DigiNews  7(6)(15 December 2003)( - The number of files in Adobe Acrobat format (also known as PDF for Portable Document Format) is astounding. This file format has been embraced by the U.S. Government, journal and book publishers, and indeed just about anyone who wishes to have more control over how something displays on screen than can be attained by HTML. And although PDF is a somewhat open format (with the specification openly published), it nonetheless remains in the control of a commercial company, and therein lies the preservation rub. "Adobe controls its development and is under no obligation to continue publishing the specification for future versions. The format includes some features that are incompatible with preservation purposes," states the author. Therefore, there is a move afoot, which this piece outlines, to specify a stable subset of the PDF format upon which librarians, archivists, and others can rely as a method to preserve digital information over the long haul. Given the number of PDFs that were created while you were reading this, such a development can only be good news. - RT