When special lawyer Robert Mueller published his report on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election in the United States yesterday and political experts around the world rushed to download it, many people noticed two things: he could not find any text on the pages, and the whole file was really big . If any of those things bothered you, you probably were not as angry as the PDF Association, which published a long explanation of why the PDF file of the Mueller report was so bad.
"A technical and cultural evaluation of the Mueller PDF Report" is both an accusation by the Department of Justice and a celebration of the venerable Portable Document Format. It starts with some basic data: the 448-page document is "of acceptable quality", but does not meet the archival standards. It was produced on April 17 in "probably a typical office network copier / printer," and uses lossy compression "more appropriate for photographs than for text." The Department of Justice could have received a high-quality PDF from Mueller, printed it, and scanned it again, or Mueller could have delivered a paper report that the department reviewed and published.
As noted in the publication, rescanning ensures that inappropriate text data is not published, which limits people to the words that can see and the squares in black. But it inflates the file size and makes the text unreachable, unless people run it through their own optical character recognition software, a process that will not be as accurate as scanning the original source file.
On occasion, poorly written PDF search files have been revealed. shameful secrets A court that filed a lawsuit on Facebook left selectable text under some hastily drawn black bars, and the extremist organization Proud Boys accidentally revealed its leadership with the same technique. However, professional copywriting software can avoid this, and the PDF Association publishes that an unlabeled and inscrutable PDF could violate the Department of Justice accessibility rules for people with disabilities. a detailed explanation of why the format is excellent and why "nobody would have suggested a Word file, a set of TIFF images, a website, an XPS file, EPUB or simple text". The short answer is PDF files retain the original text and the format of a document, can include a clear elimination and are compatible with many platforms. "PDF is the only document format capable of meeting the cultural and technical requirements for important communications in the modern era," says the publication.
The association is not very happy with the insult of the Department of Justice to this file as honorable formats As one expert expressed it, the document is "really a bit sad". To shame, Mueller informs in PDF. You have disappointed us all.