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I’m curious

how has Web 2.0 has affected the use of the PDF format?

I came across the podcast interview with Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen at the Web 2.0 Summit 2006, and was wondering if O'Reillynet.com had any other similar, more in- depth, resources on the topic?

Or if anyone had any input and/or thoughts on the subject?
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  • We haven't done any studies on this subject, but a quick look at Google trends shows searches going down for the term pdf, while news volume is going up. See http://google.com/trends?q=pdf

    Meanwhile, I'd imagine that the total volume of content presented in PDF continues to go up.

    However, it's worth noting that with the rise of the web, the original premise of PDF, to reproduce the exact image of a physical document, has largely been replaced by the model of HTML, which reformats the content for the device. I'd imagine that more content is read today in reflowable formats than in page fidelity. That being said, when we introduced page fidelity into our Safari Books Online service, many people switched to that as their preferred view. Adobe has also responded with formats that have the quality of PDF but are reflowable.

    Meanwhile, online book services like google book search and amazon search inside, which are scan-based, are simply presenting images of pages, rather than PDFs. And various people trying to introduce book readers are developing their own proprietary formats, rather than using PDF.

    I do think that PDF will be with us for a long time to come, and will continue to be a very important format.
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