[reportlab-users] PDF/A-Standard with Reportlab?

Robin Becker robin at reportlab.com
Thu Nov 30 19:39:15 EST 2006

Tim Roberts wrote:


>> Isn't there some effort to determine what kind of "here be radiation"

>> sign/warning the US Govt should use on any proposed long term radioactive

>> storage dump.


>> I don't think they're thinking of including a copy of Acrobat reader 4.0 though;

>> last time I looked they were mumbling about pictograms and spiky symbology.



> I've read your reply carefully at least three times, and I'm afraid I

> don't get it. Maybe I'm just humor-impaired today. What are you

> talking about?


I just think that stone and chisels are more appropriate to long term
communication than electronic media, and that the US Govt thinks that
even written materials are not sufficient. To say something long term
(>10000y), it is believed we need primal messages eg "shit is bad don't
come near". After all, the pharaohs did all sorts of don't come inside
stuff to protect their tombs, we still dig them up. Achtung Minen with
Skull and Bones is not enough.

According to those charged with the task, we don't even know if there
are universal symbols indicating danger. Silly stuff like electronic
standards are meaningless in such timescales; my DEC tapes from the 70's
are unreadable without extraordinary effort as are the 8 inch floppies
that succeeded them. My ext file system 3.5in floppies from the 90's are
practically unreadable unless I expend considerable time and money.

We still read the scraps of Roman first century writing from the fort at
Vindolanda because that technology is simple (same for writings from
Egypt etc etc etc). The tin box of photographs is now a hard disk which
nobody will bother to copy when Grandpa dies.
Robin Becker

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