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Journal of rafael (2125)

Wednesday December 18, 2002
03:58 AM

Nice work if you can get it

[ #9525 ]

My company is (possibly) hiring (nothing official yet). Wanted knowledge : an arbitrary subset of Perl / mod_perl / C / Unix / D?HTML / JavaScript. That would be in Lyon, France.

Other news. I'm implementing a software that has to interoperate with some official network. I've got the official specs; those specs are only published in PDF format. They contain useful appendices, for example a list of gazillions of error codes, with the associated error messages, that are required to be displayed to the uncareful user by any software that implements those specs. So I want to cutnpaste those error message tables in some text document that I can process easily. Unfortunately the PDF document is encrypted with an owner-password. That means that Acrobat Reader, xpdf, an so on, won't let me cut and paste anything from it, or save it as a text or as a postscript file, or whatever. AAARGH. Unbelievable cluelessness from the guys who designed this brain-dead PDF "feature", and from the guys who USE IT.

Title of this journal entry by George & Ira Gershwin.

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  • That means that Acrobat Reader, xpdf, an so on, won't let me cut and paste anything from it, or save it as a text or as a postscript file, or whatever. AAARGH. Unbelievable cluelessness from the guys who designed this brain-dead PDF "feature", and from the guys who USE IT.

    xpdf is GPL. You have the source available, and the ability to work round this. However, I should note that the author of xpdf prefers that you "write the author of the document" [foolabs.com] in preference to brute force cracking. What you describe

    • The author of the document doesn't want to make the document available as an alternative format. (You know, that's an official document, officially registered, paperwork, stampage, etc.) I guess they've locked out (or think they've locked out) all means to produce or distribute a modified document. Which would have been better achieved by providing a checksum on a publicly available server, and a built-in way to check against it. Or something.

      For the printing part : I'm not allowed to print it to a PS file,

      • Which would have been better achieved by providing a checksum on a publicly available server, and a built-in way to check against it. Or something.

        Presumably they'd have incurred much less wrath if they'd made a second, cut&paste-able document with the tables, constants, etc that every programmer is going to need from it? (Although the paranoia that makes them worry about modified versions would then prevent this being released, given that they don't seem to be ready to checksum or sign things)

        For t