GitHub – themsaid/ibis: A PHP tool that helps you write eBooks in markdown and convert to PDF. https://github.com/themsaid/ibis
vgel.me – Getting a full PDF from a DRM-encumbered online textbook – http://vgel.me/posts/cracking-online-textbook/
Why does PDFy exist? I got sick of documents getting locked up behind login walls of services like Scribd. PDFy exists to offer a place where anybody can instantly upload and share a PDF, much like Imgur does for images. PDFy is free, ad-free, and non-commercial.
If you’re interested in running your own the code is on Github at https://github.com/joepie91/pdfy.
A real quick look at PDFs from the Circuit Courts reveals how the PDFs they release are generated.
- 1st – Corel WordPerfect
- 2nd – Microsoft Word
- 3rd – Microsoft Word
- 4th – Microsoft Word
- 5th – Corel WordPerfect
- 6th – ? not obvious from PDF meta data
- 7th – Microsoft Word
- 8th – Corel WordPerfect
- 9th – Corel WordPerfect
- 10th – Microsoft Word
- 11th – Microsoft Word
- DC – Adobe
- Fed – Adobe
Information was obtained by simply downloading a recent PDF and looking at the properties of the file for creation information.
Most law firms have a history of using Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) to distribute their brochures, papers and longer written pieces. That practice matches what web usability experts have long advised: “PDF is great for distributing documents that need to be printed,” but not much more than that. The well-traveled rule is that if a document contains more than five pages of text (hint: that excludes lawyer profiles), then PDF format is worth considering.
Now, let’s throw a wrench into this. As we approach the end of 2011, many firms and their their clients are moving toward paperless offices. Clients are consuming law firm publications on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and large multiple-monitor desktop environments. So how likely is it that we consume a PDF on printed paper? Not very.
Finally someone has something useful to say about the future of PDFs. As someone who has to deal with found PDFs from all over the web, I can honestly say I wouldn’t miss them if they disappeared tomorrow. PDF is an excellent way to capture the artifact of the document page, but a PDF is not a web page, and PDF is not open data. PDF is a photocopy, a snapshot picture of a document. If you are interested in doing things like indexing data, repurposing data, reusing data, then a PDF is pretty useless.