Standards Group Accepts PDF

Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) 1.7 has been approved as an international standard by the International Standards Organization (ISO), according to a company executive.

"Adobe has received word that the ballot for approval of PDF 1.7 to become the ISO 32000 Standard ... has passed by a vote of 13-1," wrote Jim King, a senior principal scientist and PDF architect at Adobe, in a blog post Tuesday.

After announcing its intentions to make PDF a standard in January, Adobe submitted PDF to the ISO's Technical Committee in July. Previously, specialized subsets of PDF -- PDF/Archive and PDF/Exchange -- have been approved as standards by ISO, and other subsets have been proposed as standards. The approval of PDF 1.7 will now serve as an "umbrella" standard that will help unify these different subsets.

The ratification of PDF as an ISO standard means Adobe gives up some control over the development of future versions. Instead of setting the future path of PDF on its own, Adobe will just be one of several parties with a say in how the standard evolves. And that's exactly what King, who was nominated technical editor of the new standard, hopes to see happen.

"The challenging part will be to get people to participate in the next release of the standard. Lots of people want standards but it takes a measurable resource commitment to participate," he wrote.

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