Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox: PDF – Unfit for Human Consumption

Users get lost inside PDF files, which are typically big, linear text blobs that are optimized for print and unpleasant to read and navigate online. PDF is good for printing, but that's it. Don't use it for online presentation.

Two points to remember:

  1. All big linear text blobs are unpleasant to read and navigate online. PDF's allow you to print them and read them offline where they are more bearable.
  2. For some reason when people say online presentation I think of Powerpoint or Flash. I have never seen Acrobat used for an online presentation. If this is a widespread problem I have somehow missed it.

The politics of open-source software. CNET News.com's Declan McCullagh discusses why the Initiative for Software Choice is lobbying hard to make sure government agencies here and abroad don't unduly favor open source. [CNET News.com]

This is an interesting article that expresses a concern that Microsoft will feel obligated to protect their turf from Open Source software. Licensing costs and complexity are at the crux of the problem since the open source software quality has gotten quite good and useful.