PDF Week in Mississauga, Ontario

By Duff Johnson posted 06-06-2012 14:47


From May 21 through 25 the delegates assembled for PDF Week, this time in the context of a full ISO TC 171 meeting. The meetings were held a conference facility owned (and kindly donated for the purpose) by Microsoft. The various sessions covering a dozen different standards and initiatives were scheduled, orchestrated, managed and generally supervised by Betsy Fanning, AIIM Director of Standards and the Secretary for TC 171. The delegates from a dozen countries were greeted by the ISO member host, the Standards Council of Canada. SCC members NetCentric Technologies and Accessibil-iT hosted the traditional steakhouse dinner for members of the TC.

The following represents a brief summary of the developments in Mississauga.

PDF/A (Archive) - ISO 19005

PDF/A-3 received a number of comments that were resolved at the table; the Committee decided to send ISO 19005-3 directly to publication. PDF/A-3 is essentially identical to PDF/A-2, but adds the ability to contain arbitrary attachments. Just as PDF/A-2, it does not conflict or interfere with other parts of PDF/A.

PDF/E (Engineering) – ISO 24517 and PRC - ISO 14739

ISO/DIS 14739-1 (PRC) along with PDF/E met on Monday. PRC advanced, with a new DIS ballot scheduled for August. Development of PDF/E-2, which will be based on ISO 32000-1, is moving smartly, with a 2 month Committee Draft (CD) ballot to be issued in June.

PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility) – ISO 14289

While PDF/UA-1 is in an FDIS ballot the document was not discussed in Mississauga. A Work Item was created for PDF/UA-2, with Microsoft's Cherie Ekholm confirmed as the Project Leader. Between May and September work will continue on PDF/UA-2 via an extension of the ad hoc committee created in Bellevue to study the need for PDF/UA-2. It's expected that the ad hoc committee's report will provide the basis for part 2.

PDF – ISO 32000

PDF itself is managed by the ISO 32000 committee. This organization is working through the first update to the venerable electronic document format since Adobe Systems gave PDF to the ISO in 2008. ISO 32000-2, PDF will move from 1.7 to version 2.0.

In Mississauga the ISO 32000 Committee took in reports from a variety of ad hoc committees. A number of these ad hoc committees will continue with updated assignments, with areas of continued development to include:

  • Rich Text (an Annex)
  • JavaScript and 3D JavaScript
  • Colour consistency for Separation and DeviceN colour spaces
  • File format syntax
  • Rendering validation
  • Implementation Limits
  • Re—writing tagged PDF (!)

Get involved! The next PDF Week is scheduled for September 10-14 in Berlin.

Where do these Standards originate?

International Standards are created, developed and managed by committees of industry experts. Their time is volunteered by their respective companies for the purpose.

Each Committee manages a set of norms (a "Standard") defined so as to encompass a business objective such as “archival”, “engineering” and “accessibility”.

Conformance with standards means that each vendor's products and services can interoperate reliably with others. Users and vendors alike benefit with improved quality, reliability and functionality.

To get directly involved in the development of International Standards for PDF, contact Betsy Fanning, Standards Director at AIIM, the organization accredited by ANSI to manage standards development in this area. 

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