brainstorming: which formats to use and which to avoid

Bernhard Herzog bh at
Mon Jun 11 13:33:28 UTC 2001

Werner Koch <wk at> writes:

> Documents - Whitelist
>   PDF   according to specs ... but w/o the options ...

As I wrote in my other mail, PDF is covered by some patents,
unfortunately. For many types of documents, PDF can be used without
violating the patents, though, AFAIK.

The PDF specification is also not really complete, AFAICT, and in
reality, anything that Acrobat produces and understands will have to be
considered valid PDF.

> Documents - Blacklist
>   Adobe Illustrator - proprietary Postscrip extensions

The AI format is actually quite well documented. Well enough anyway for
Sketch to be able to read them reasonably well (and write them, too, but
there appear to be some bugs with that). Adobe's AI-Specs are not
complete, though, and AFAIK, the newest versions of the format aren't
publicly documented yet.

> Vector Graphics - Blacklist
>   Flash [I am not sure whether this is sufficiently documented]

I'm not sure about the documentation, but at least there's a project at
sourceforge, called ming, developing an LGPL'd library to generate SWF
(a.k.a. flash) files

>   Corel not documented

The native .CDR format is indeed not documented, to my knowledge, but
their CMX format is. Well enough for Sketch to be able to read them to
some degree, but the docs are incomplete.


Intevation GmbH                       

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