Part One: PDF history
PDF is a formal open standard, ISO 32000. It was invented by Adobe Systems 17 years ago.
PDF = Portable Document Format
The image links to a pleasant interactive timeline of Adobe Systems and its role in the development of the PDF. The chronology is in Flash, and thankfully free of any video or audio. Read more about Adobe Systems role in the history of PDF file development.
PDF files are more versatile than I realized, and
- are viewable and printable on Windows®, Mac OS, and mobile platforms e.g. Android™
- can be digitally signed
- preserve source file information — text, drawings, video, 3D, maps, full-color graphics, photos — regardless of the application used to create them
Additional PDF file types exist, including PDF/A, PDF/E and U3D. All are supported by Adobe software. I didn’t realize that Adobe has manufacturing product lines. With Adobe 3D Reviewer, you can merge CAD files, move or delete parts, create animations and exploded assemblies, then save to 3D PDF documents.
Part 2: SiteCatalyst from Adobe Omniture free offer
Adobe CS Live online is free through April 12, 2012.
I discovered this while surfing the Adobe site, looking for User Help forums. I have not seen this promoted anywhere. It is even in rather small print on the Adobe CS page! CS includes various tools for developers e.g. Adobe BrowserLab to preview web content to make sure it displays as intended, and to assure cross browser consistency.
Free access to SiteCatalyst NetAverages (included with CS Live) was the highlight for me. I believe it is sourced from Omniture, the analytics company acquired by Adobe in 2009. Adobe suggests using SiteCatalyst to:
View Internet trends of desktop and mobile users, like browser usage and device types, to help you plan and optimize web content for the widest possible audience.
SiteCatalyst metrics are updated monthly. They are quite comprehensive, and useful for far more than developing Adobe applications. The interface is fun to use, too! Note: This is a 100% free service. No payment information is requested. No other paid Adobe products or subscriptions are required. I am not a paid endorser, but you knew that already, no?