[Irtalk] All In! Embedded Files in PDF/A | The Signal: Digital Preservation
hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Thu Jan 2 15:58:29 SAST 2014
PDF/A-3 makes only a single, fairly monumental change. In the PDF/A-2
specification users were allowed to embed files, but only PDF/A files.
PDF/A-3 now allows the embedding of any arbitrary file format, including
XML, CSV, CAD, images and any others.
At first glance this sounds like a gigantic betrayal of everything that the
format has stood for. Why define a subset of PDF attributes to ensure the
long-term comprehension of the file if you’re going to turn around and
allow the kitchen sink to be embedded within it?
This is very bad news for digital preservation because it is now possible
to "hide" proprietary digital inside the PDF/A digital container. What will
future researchers think when they stumble upon these "hidden" closed
formats that they will not be able to use?
What were they thinking??
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