Adobe Reader 7 for the impatient

March 16th, 2005

It isn’t official yet but you can get Reader 7 via Adobe’s ftp server.

Luis Villa has some screenshots but they all point out to what he thinks is wrong with the program and don’t highlight any of the good stuff. I agree in part with his views: support for CUPS and printer detection should have been there. 1

Luis: It should use gconf to store and read preferences so that it can be remotely configured and managed by tools designed to read and write gconf keys…

I disagree. Adobe has to cater to those who don’t use GNOME too. Tying it too closely with GNOME technologies means they will be limiting themselves to a fraction of an already tiny market.

This point applies to much of what Luis has written earlier when he’s asked ISVs to write GNOME applications. Not Linux, mind you - GNOME apps. ISVs have to balance their resources. If they are going to write an app for Linux, they will try and make it as desktop agnostic as possible. Integrating it too much with either GNOME or KDE does not make financial sense!

The way forward is to get more integration stuff on and get ISVs to confirm to those standards.

Luis: Appears to use gtk 2.2 instead of gtk 2.4 or 2.6, each of which would allow access to the newer, improved file selector, and improved toolbar and menu APIs.

The problem here is that open source software usually follows the release often philosophy with new features being added rapidly and bug reporting / QA being done by users. ISVs typically can’t afford to do that. They’ve got to do internal QA and support a release for longer cycles. This means that adapting to a fast changing (GTK) API is going to be difficult. Add to this the fact that documentation for open source technologies doesn’t generally keep up with the latest codebase changes and you can see why an ISV would prefer older technology to the cutting edge.

Frederico has more to say on the API issue.

What do you have to say?

  1. An easy workaround for apps that don’t detect printers is to get them to print to kprinter. Non-KDE users can install just kde-base to get kprinter.