Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Microsoft's Adobe PDF Woes

In recent months, Adobe's Acrobat reader has become an attractive target on Microsoft Windows platform.

I stopped using Acrobat reader on my Windows hosts a while back when I realized that Acrobat reader is 38 MB in size, compared to 1.2 MB SumatraPDF (Open Source), 6.7 MB Foxit Reader (Closed Source), and online Google Docs.

Here I am assuming that the size of the Acrobat Reader directly correlates with the number of lines of code, and studies have shown a direct relationship between the number of lines and number of defects.

"Commercial software typically has 20 to 30 bugs for every 1,000 lines of code, according to Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab Sustainable Computing Consortium. This would be equivalent to 114,000 to 171,000 bugs in 5.7 million lines of code" (Linux: Fewer Bugs Than Rivals )

I consider myself a very heavy PDF user, and it is extremely rare for me to need features such as Javascript functionality, Assistive technology, various third party plugins etc. built into Acrobat Reader.

F-Secure's Sean Sullivan recently urged Microsoft to integrate some type of PDF preview option and spare its users from having to install Adobe Acrobat Reader. I could not agree more with Mr. Sullivan. It is about time Microsoft learned a lesson from Gnome (Evince) and KDE (Okular) and provided a bundled basic PDF viewer as part of the OS.

My 2 cents.

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