A fairly compelling argument for publishing documents as PDF files rather than as HTML pages.

lab6 Issue 0 (PDF)

@tobykurien this is infuriating because i can't think of any good counter-arguments.

Here are a few counter points. Not all PDF are the same. If it does not embed all the fonts required to render it, it is not future proof and of archival quality.

PDFs are also excruciatingly hard for screen readers, thus lacks accessiblity. Copy pasting text often misses whitespaces, making life hell for normal folks.


I won't read the arguments since on mobile, from Fedilab app, I have to download the file and read it from another app (and try not forget to delete the page once read).

Too much work for reading some Info's I could have gotten with the integrated browser.

@Zykino @joshim true, but the arguments are worth the effort :-) Not enough to change people's minds, I don't think, but if you like intellectual debates that challenge established beliefs, it's a good read.

Is it a misconception that PDF are a good vector of attack?

Otherwise yeah PDF websites can be OK as long as browser (even embedded in apps) can show them directly.

@Zykino @joshim the linked article goes into some details - PDF/A specifically is fairly safe (doesn't embed scripts). These days browsers do just display PDFs inline.

I did not understand this part, as a lowly user:

“But how can I automate updates to my site’s look and feel?!”
Same as with HTML – generate your PDFs using scripting.

@abri you can create PDFs from (for example) markdown, using a tool like pandoc, and apply a different style sheet to regenerate it with a different look. This way you can run a script with new stylesheet to regenerate all PDFs making up your site in one go, rather than manually editing each one.

Gotcha. Thanks for the explanation. I like the idea of it. Right now, I don't do a site with PDF, but this is a serious proposal I'm considering.
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