- They have discontinued Linux versions of many (all?) of their software.
You might think “I do not use Linux, so what?” Well, do you have a mobile device? Tough luck. Adobe has also discontinued FlashPlayer for mobile devices. Imagine that all of a sudden some websites simply stop working because you do not have (and cannot have!) the latest FlashPlayer. Your loss. Who told you not to be the average user? They have also discontinued Acrobat Reader for Linux, which would not be such a big problem if they did not decide at the same time to invent their own pdf format ¬¬ (see next).
- They have created their very own pdf format that (surprise surprise) only works on their reader!
They have taken a completely open and popular format and tweaked it such that pdfs created with Adobe’s products only work on their own reader. And I am not talking about special pdf features, such as forms, those pdfs cannot even be read by another software. You might find this familiar:
On top of that, the concept of backward compatibility has completely escaped them, and forms created on version 10 only work on Acrobat Reader versions 10+, which, of course, are only available for Windows and Mac.
- They bypass OS configurations to prevent users from saving Adobe’s beloved pdf using the original pdf format.
Once you have Acrobat Reader 10, you can finally open and fill in some stupid form (always a boring task). Then you might want to save it as a regular pdf (even it this means having it no longer editable) to be able to open wherever. It turns out that Acrobat Reader no longer allows you to save as pdf, only as “Adobe pdf”, and goes so far as to bypass the OS configuration and make the option “print as pdf” unavailable. Why would they do that? This is just plain mean.
Unfortunately there are still many businesses using Adobe’s softwares to create forms, and every now and then I need to find a way around it to fill them in and return. It is getting more difficult every time. All I can do is make people aware that they are using a proprietary format for their files, and thus cannot demand that everyone be able to work with the same format. And believe me, I do. If you own a business and need to distribute forms around, please be aware of this problem. Try to use other tools to generate your pdfs (LaTeX! 😉 ) or at least make sure that they are being generated in the original open pdf format.