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About the contributor
Martin Bailey

More contributions
The Power of the Page

It’s a question that vexes vendors of web-based solutions everywhere: why do people still insist on PDF files? And why does PDF’s mindshare keep going up? “PDF is such antediluvian technology!” they say. “It’s pre-web, are you kidding me? It’s so old-f …

PDF Association technical resources: an overview

PDF is PDF because files produced with one vendor’s software can be read using a different vendor’s software with no loss of fidelity. Interoperability is key to our industry. The PDF Association is a international membership organization dedicated to …

2022: The last year of paper for records-keeping

NARA (The National Archives and Records Administration) is the final depository for the long-term records generated by all other agencies of the U.S. Federal Government. The agency has a key role in preserving the cultural history of the republic as we …

PDF 2.0 examples now available

The PDF Association is proud to present the first PDF 2.0 example files made available to the public. Created and donated to the PDF Association by Datalogics, this initial set of PDF 2.0 examples were crafted by hand and intentionally made simple in construction to serve as teaching tools for learning PDF file structure and syntax.

PDF Days Europe underscores the importance of PDF as a key component of business processes

2017 marks a record number of attendees / Experts shared fully-grounded wisdom on PDF standards across the two-day event Berlin. With over 200 attendees, this year’s PDF Days Europe in Berlin was a significant success with the largest attendance of any …

PDF 2.0 interops help vendors


PDF 2.0 interop USA, 2017 June 12-13In mid-June of this year a number of software vendors with products for creating, editing and consuming PDF files came together in Boston, Massachusetts for a couple of days. The goal was to test our products currently in development against each other’s sample PDF 2.0 files to ensure that we caught any issues before letting those products out into the wild for real users to work with.

For any normal product release we have tens of thousands of sample files collected over several years: those created ourselves as well as those sent in with customer queries or purchased as part of formal test suites. But this is different.

This is testing our code for the features in PDF 2.0; features that are so new that nobody is shipping tools to create files yet. So we’ve been making our own sample files. But if we make sample files to test our own code we can miss issues because the same assumptions get made in the sample and in the code. We need a way to break that bootstrap problem.

And that’s why Global Graphics, in conjunction with the PDF Association, organised and hosted the US interop in Boston in June, just as we had in Cambridge, UK six weeks earlier for the first PDF 2.0 interop event.

Between the two events there was a good turn-out of vendors of leading PDF tools, especially those companies who want to make sure that their customers are ready as the rest of the market starts to roll out support for PDF 2.0 over the next year.

For the US event we’d acted on feedback from the UK event and put JIRA in place as a full tracking system for everyone to file sample files, ask questions and report their results. That made it much easier for all of us to follow what was happening, even though quite a few of the US event ‘attendees’ were actually working remotely. That JIRA instance has now been taken off-line, but we’ve backed up everything from both events and we’re hoping that we’ll be able to transfer the data to a JIRA instance hosted by the PDF Association at some point in the future.

The feedback on both events was good, with most participants saying that the information they’d gained had met their expectations and averaging a score of 4.5 out of 5 for overall value.

As to my own products … let’s just say that if you score an interop on the number of niggly little issues that you find while doing the tests … the Boston event scored pretty high! But that’s the point. Each of those issues that we find and resolve before we ship is an issue that our customers never have to see or deal with. And that’s a very good thing!


Tags: interop, workshop
Categories: PDF 2.0