[NTG-context] PDF Signature Fields

Alan BRASLAU alan.braslau at cea.fr
Wed Mar 9 16:39:53 CET 2016

One has to be EXTREMELY careful with these "features".

Currently, there are so-called PDF forms, but they are far from fully
functional. I suspect that the specifications are not clear and are not
respected in any case.

I will give a concrete example: The American Tax agency, IRS, provides
a large number of PDF forms that can be filled out, for they LOVE forms.
One can use Acrobat (Reader or Pro) and one can even fill them out using
evince. Yeah! However, whereas the forms filled-out using evince can be
saved and re-edited, printed, etc., opening these filled-out forms in
Acrobat come out blank. (Luckily I was able to provide my accountant
with *printed*, filled-in copies, both paper and PDF.)

Other examples are forms that can ONLY be read using the latest and
greatest Acrobat. The situation is problematic, and I know of at least
one government agency that has finally turned towards a web-based
reporting method as they had received multiple complaints and even
legal challenges on their Adobe/PDF only reporting method used

This can explain Hans' reticence towards reverse engineering in absence
of clear, published specifications that are indeed respected.


On Wed, 9 Mar 2016 16:16:24 +0100
Hans Hagen <pragma at wxs.nl> wrote:

> On 3/9/2016 2:11 PM, Andreas Schneider wrote:
> > Hello all,
> >
> > is there currently any mechanism in ConTeXt similar to the LaTeX
> > digsig or eforms package?
> > I want to add a form field that can be digitally signed (which is
> > now already possible with Acrobat Reader, not just with Acrobat
> > Pro).
> >
> > Additionally (like the mentioned eforms package) it would be nice,
> > if you could specify other form fields that should be locked once
> > the signature field is actually signed (according to the PDF spec
> > this is simply set via a dictionary).  
> it's probably something trivial to implement so what are the relevant 
> fields (paragraphs/tables/dics/fields in the pdf spec) .. i'm not
> going to reverse engineer some package but start from the spec
> > Anyway: can this currently be achieved with ConTeXt? If not: is
> > there any chance to get that feature added sometime? :-)  
> so far i never bothered with anything signature (i must say that i
> never ran into such docs and it would not make them more valid to me
> anyway)

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