Paul Bliss has written a wrong-minded article where-in he argues for a happy future in which companies “can now potentially have [their] entire site reside within the content of a PDF”:
Sure, it was textually available before, but now I can even have compressed video, dynamically generated content and visually appealing content conveniently wrapped up into the web’s only cross-compatible portable platform.
No more worries about having a Flash player installed – that will be incorporated into the PDF reading software. No more worrying about needing Quicktime and Media Player versions of video clips. They’ll all be in Flash.
Later, he actually argues that PDF-based sites would be “awesome” from the user’s perspective.
How much is Adobe paying Mr. Bliss? This is a profoundly idiotic idea. Why?
- Most users and Web publishers disdain PDFs. They’re awkward to use, slow to open and are a sad excuse for a Web-native format. They work best when used for their original purpose–delivering documents which need to be printed and maintain their original format.
- Most users disdain most uses of Flash. Splash pages and groovy banners do not excite people. Newer Flash-based applications like Flickr run great in a browser–why would we attempt to run them inside a PDF?
- The vast majority of Web designers are HTML and CSS jockeys. Why would they throw away those skills in favour of becoming graphic designers or Flash monkeys?
PDF is a necessary evil. Flash is finally growing up into an effective front-end for Web apps. HTML isn’t going anywhere.