Are PDF’s where information goes to die?

Terminal 4, A-gates

An extract from the PSH Terminal 4 PDF map

Yesterday I wrote a rant on my triathlon, travel blog about an “information” problem I’d had at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, you can read it here. Really my point was simply with mobile and tablet devices, PDF’s are hugely restrictive platform for the display of information.

Since PDF’s cannot really be dynamically updated, and are almost always a copy of some information created and stored elsewhere, they are often overlooked when the information is updated. Now adobe are moving away flash for websites, it’s about time that websites abandoned PDF’s, especially for simple graphics like this. While there remains some justification to use them as vehicles to transfer facsimile or “exact” copies of documents, for the most part as a form of information display, the PDF is a place information goes to die.

1 Response to “Are PDF’s where information goes to die?”

  1. 1 cathcam December 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    For the record no one ever called me back, the PDF has not been updated, and Phoenix Sky Harbor airport still doesn’t have a Fruithead Smoothies. Conclusion? PSH is where information and customer service goes to die…

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About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I am a Fellow of the British Computer Society ( I'm an information technology optimist.

I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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