Ashish Kumar writes:
> I was talking about a case where user needs to directly sends the
> member lists[info about the members like name, email ids, etc.] to
> some other email id's
Yes, I understand that. There's a context for all this though.
Mailman is an *open source* project. Some of us are free software
advocates, who do this because we're trying to change the rules by
which our world manages its software assets. Some of us are open
source advocates, who see the question as a purely economic one of
"faster, better, cheaper: we should not need to choose". For those of
you still in college or graduate school, there's some bitter history
here that I hope you never have a need to relive.
But one thing we all agree on is that our software should empower our
users to address their own needs. PDF is a proprietary format; it is
owned, lock, stock and most popular implementation by the same company
that had a visiting programmer arrested in the U.S. for publications
outside U.S. More important for the current application, Adobe has
also released buggy versions of its popular Acrobat Reader that
crashed a supposedly advanced operating system (Windows NT) on
documents that they acknowledged to conform to their own PDF standard.
However, they WONTFIXed that bug because Adobe's products never used
that particular idiom (and perhaps because Ghostscript, then the most
popular alternative to Adobe Postscript products, did use it).
So, in the end, supplying a PDF option helps to lock our users in to
dependency on proprietary software and standards that they cannot
change and which do not empower them to work faster, better, and
cheaper. It's a difficult judgment whether the convenience of
supplying output in this extremely popular format outweighs the effect
of encouraging dependency.
Sumana made an important point that perhaps I was overestimating the
technical skills of the users being targeted by the feature. Perhaps,
but if so, they'll tell us about it. What I advocate is that we not
*underestimate* their potential for growth, nor close off the avenue
to making the software and its output do what *they* want, rather than
what *we* guess they want.
Wearing my mentor hat:
BTW, once again you haven't specified your case carefully enough for
others to judge whether PDF is needed. Really, what purpose would not
be well-served with a restructured text table directly insertend in
the email, or a csv attachment, or an HTML table in HTML mail? Why
PDF? Your "send the list" use case is no help in judging: those other
three formats I just mentioned also present the list to an arbitrary
group of recipients via email.
Sumana presented a well-specified use case: formatting a list so that
it can easily be presented to Google Docs to create a permission for a
large group. That allows me to decide, "no PDF!" because I'm sure
Google Docs would cough a hairball if she fed it PDF!