PDF is an ISO Standard

I was up and about at 5am today (don’t ask), and I just so happened to catch a short email in my inbox:

The Portable Document Format (PDF), undeniably one of the most commonly used formats for electronic documents, is now accessible as an ISO International Standard – ISO 32000-1. This move follows a decision by Adobe Systems Incorporated, original developer and copyright owner of the format, to relinquish control to ISO, who is now in charge of publishing the specifications for the current version (1.7) and for updating and developing future versions.

Here’s the abstract:

ISO 32000-1:2008 specifies a digital form for representing electronic documents to enable users to exchange and view electronic documents independent of the environment in which they were created or the environment in which they are viewed or printed. It is intended for the developer of software that creates PDF files (conforming writers), software that reads existing PDF files and interprets their contents for display and interaction (conforming readers) and PDF products that read and/or write PDF files for a variety of other purposes (conforming products).

And what my friends had to say about it:

This is a really strong move for Adobe and for those of us who use PDF constantly. – Blake Robinson via Alert Thingy

Perhaps has something to do with Microsoft opening up their doc specs? – Kenneth Younger

will adobe reader be even slower now? i hope foxit will still work with the flash-enabled pdfs. – mike

mike: the new Adobe Reader coming out is dramatically faster. – Robert Scoble

robert: phew! maybe i can venture back to using it after my tryst with foxit. – mike

this has *nothing* to do with Microsoft… And this isn't really "news", it's just the ISO officialization of what we already knew since December: http://arstechnica.com/news.ar…Marcos Marado

It's a great document format, even though their own reader sucks, thank god for Apple's Preview. – Gerard van Schip

Finally. The whole industry-standard status was kind of weird since everyone treated it like a standard for years now anyway – Horst Gutmann

At the end of the day, this is good news for consumers; standards are always good news for us. I don’t really see a need to install Adobe Reader 9 on my Mac desktop – even though I just installed 9.0 on Ponzi’s Vista desktop yesterday afternoon; I’ll be content with Mac OS X’s built-in support for PDF. When I want to do a bit more with my PDFs, I’ll use Skim. Here’s to hoping that Flash (SWF, FLV) becomes the next ISO standard!