In Favor of PDF

This is really a short rant, and should come as a surprise to no one.

I hate DOC files, and RTF files, to say nothing of ODF, DOCX, and their ilk because they have two necessarily conflicting properties:

1. They're oriented at producing documents on paper. Which is crazy. Paper is an output, but it's not the only output in common use, so it's nuts that generic document representation formats would be so tightly coupled with paper.

2. The rendering of the content is editor specific, particularly with regards to display options. If I compile a document and send it to you, I have no guarantee whatsoever about the presentation or display of the document on your system, particularly if I'm not certain that your system is similarly configured. Particularly with respect to fonts, page breaks, etc.

This is particularly idiotic with respect to 1.

It's not that PDF is great, or especially usable, but it's consistent and behaves as expected. Furthermore, it does a good job of appropriately expressing the limitations of paper.

So use PDF and accept no substitutions.

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