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Screenshot as an API


Screenshots as the Universal API

Rethinking the PDF

  • It's founder, John Warnock (co-founder of Adobe), prototyped a compatibility layer where documents would look and, most importantly, print (!) the same regardless of the computer they were viewed on (1993 video). This is the PDF.
  • The "killer app" for PDF was tax returns - the IRS adopted PDF in 1996 because of a rumored frustration with the US Postal Service.
  • Things that lack:
    • Enterprise-grade OCR for PDF documents still doesn't exist in 2022, albeit having state-of-the-art computer vision techniques.
    • Interactive and web-enabled forms. Sometimes it saves without the data filled in
    • Slow page loads. Better alternatives. EPUB, MOBI for texts. For generic use cases, DjVu.