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From Edward Zimmermann <>
Subject AW: Apache™ PDFBox™ named an Open Source Partner Organization of the PDF Association : The Apache Software Foundation Blog
Date Wed, 04 Feb 2015 10:47:01 GMT
Hi All,

I'm not familiar with any conformance testing, much less strong, within the PDFA. The Association
is mainly about PDF advocacy and as a networking umbrella for most of the world's PDF experts.
As a Class-A liaison to ISO on PDF we've, for example, had via the Association early access
to PDF 2.0 and were able to contribute our reviews. The Association also maintains a PDF/A
competence center and provides expertise to a number of organizations.

Conformance testing? Of What?

The PDF standard does NOT specify any methods for conformance testing of PDF files or renderers
(readers, printers etc.). A conforming application is one that follows the standard! :-)

Rendering? One of the weaknesses of PDF has, in fact, been that a few features in the specification
have not been well-defined (leading many to view Adobe's Reader as a kind of test reference
despite a number of clear cases where Adobe does the wrong thing) and many others not widely
implemented. To my knowledge no vendor implements the complete standard--- not even Adobe
(and Adobe does not do everything that they do right).

There are a number of conformance testing suites about (for example from Quality Logic) and
nearly all use Adobe's rendering engine as reference. To my knowledge I know of no freely
available exhaustive PDF rendering conformance test suite. At CIB we have our own regression
test sets for our own use cases and when in doubt we test our rendering against not just Adobe
but a number of other engines. 

Part of the goal of PDF 2.0 is to remove (or depreciate) features that are hardly implemented
or more-or-less a vendor standard such as XFA, try to clear up the ambiguities and tighten
things up. It's within 2.0 that we might eventually be able to speak about a grammar-- unfortunately
PDF 2.0 builds on PDF 1.7 so needs to carry a lot of historical baggage about.

The other kind of conformance is to a number of PDF standards (or profiles) such as PDF/A---
which itself have a number of sub-flavors. Here it's about trying to gauge if the PDF is OK--
not that an application is doing the right thing with it. The standard tool is Adobe Preflight
from Callas. It's expensive, constantly changing (what in one version passes as OK might fail
in the next or visa versa). PDFBox has its own preflight for PDF/A-1.

PDF/A testing is important since the point of PDF/A is the hope that it can better survive.

Within the Preforma project is a sub-task to develop a PDF/A

Does this have anything to do with Corinthia? No. Corinthia is about content and especially
word processing formats (OOXML, ODF etc.).. Corinthia is at its core about pragmatic fidelity.
The point of the bidirectional transformation model is to be able to reduce fidelity demands.
Unless the project wants to get sidetracked into HiFi rendering (of DOCX or ODT) it's completely
outside of the scope....

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Dennis E. Hamilton [] 
Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. Februar 2015 18:13
Betreff: RE: Apache™ PDFBox™ named an Open Source Partner Organization of the PDF Association
: The Apache Software Foundation Blog

Adding to the remark by Louis.  The PDF Association also has some strong conformance testing
and that, combined with a way to examine and test PDFs handled/produced by Corinthia using
ODFBox, even if outside of Corinthia proper, is a valuable (side)-opportunity.

-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Suárez-Potts [] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 3, 2015 08:29
Subject: Re: Apache™ PDFBox™ named an Open Source Partner Organization of the PDF Association
: The Apache Software Foundation Blog

[ ... ]. I was thinking more in terms that PDFBox grants those with JVMs to manipulate PDFs
ad hoc. As a lot of enterprise docs. are PDFs, the utility of the service seems plain. (That
OpenOffice can do this, too, to a limited degree, as can other open source applications is
known; that they are not used this way and instead the maximally expensive options are used
just goes to show you that nature doesn’t just abhor a vacuum, it sucks.)

But to return to the point. If one aspect of Corinthia is to enable the manipulation of documents,
then it bears watching how other similar, if by no means congruent or identical, services
fare in the market. More expanded: to investigate the possibility of cooperation if not collaboration;
of mutual interest.


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