Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Thursday 28 April 2005

Microsoft running after Adobe PDF

On one side you have Adobe, that succeeded is providing a fully-disclosed portable file format, PDF.

On the other side, you have Microsoft, who do not like to not have a dominant position on a market, that decide to run after PDF with Metro, a new XML based file format that will be licensed royalty free and (that) users will be able to open Metro files without a special client according to their CEO. The problem is that Microsoft is notorious for patenting everything and make sure you only get crumbles from the cake, so, despite that we don't have anything yet but some PR, I wonder what they will come up with.

The Metro technology is likely to go head-to-head with Adobe's PostScript technology. "It is a potential Adobe killer," said Richard Doherty

We already heard that a 15 years ago when Microsoft worked on True Image to have a replacement for PostScript. PostScript is still there, and from True Image, there is only one thing left: TrueType that Apple had developped and sold to Microsoft in exchange of the other technology. The only other postive effect of this battle is that Adobe ended up disclosing the Type 1 PostScript font format. But now, there is nothing to disclose as both PostScript and PDF are completely documented and free to use even if still the property of Adobe.

Update: I still have to find any patent issue associated to PDF.

Act as a responsible consumer: ask the camera RAW file documentation.

Today I contacted Canon Customer Support to request the documentation of the CR2 RAW file format of my Canon 20D. Here is my request:


I would like to obtain the documentation of the Canon CR2 RAW format in order to write a software to decode and convert the pictures I produce.

Thank you.


I encourage you, as a customer, to do the same, being Canon, Nikon or whoever else. The idea is that if they get numerous requests there may be a change.

Please, once done, post a comment here.


Update: Here are links to Canon customer support.

Or look for Customer Support, they all have some way to ask a question.

GUADEC registration...

Murray, I have 2 big issues with the GUADEC registration:

  • Nobody said GUADEC Registration would require paying this year. Now that everyone has booked, this really looks like a scam. And there is no register-and-pay-when-you-check-in option, which is not nice at all, see below
  • You require PayPal. That forbid people from some countries, like say Iran, to register for the GUADEC. And since you have to give your mailing info to PayPal, even if it does not require an account, you just ask everyone to be spammed

Note: I'm not arguing the fact that you need to pay EUR 30 + VAT, just how things are done.