The PDF Association’s active involvement in DARPA’s SafeDocs fundamental research program, led by CTO Peter Wyatt, has already accomplished a number of objectives of interest to the PDF industry over the program’s three year run in Phases 1 and 2, including the Arlington PDF Model, new errata on PDF 2.0 (including discovery of a significant ambiguity with inline images) and the stressful PDF corpus.
In November 2022, the PDF Association signed a final 12 month “transition” contract to maximize the potential of the program’s fundamental research. On this basis, in 2023, DARPA will provide seed funding of $1.3M for research and prototyping centered on reinventing the PDF specification and delivering on the benefits of defining file formats using unambiguous machine-readable assets.
“SafeDocs has afforded the PDF industry a unique one-time opportunity to redesign the PDF specification to maximize its utility to all developers and lower barriers to entry,” says Wyatt. “Under a banner of 'Revolutionizing trust means revolutionizing file format specifications' we hope to demonstrate that complex file format specifications such as PDF can both look and feel more modern while simultaneously removing ambiguity, addressing specification usability issues and providing on-ramps for developers new to the technology.”
View Peter’s keynote presentation at PDF Days Europe 2022 for some hints of what is to come…
The PDF Association will provide more information about the project in early 2023.
The staff of the PDF Association are dedicated to delivering the information, services and value members have come to expect. Staff members of the PDF Association include: Alexandra Oettler (Editor), Betsy Fanning (Standards Director), Duff Johnson (Chief Executive Officer), Matthias Wagner (CFO & Operations Director), Peter Wyatt (Chief Technology Officer), Thomas Zellmann (PDF Evangelist).