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I once had a client who wanted a system where no matter what type of file someone uploaded we'd make a PDF out of it. I don't mean "print to PDF", I mean like a straight conversion. A picture, a doc file, a speadsheet, an MP3, a video, a CAD file, a .ivt file format you and I make up right now and tell no one else about for storing Iowan votes, anything.

I told him that was impossible.* There are indeed things out there where you can print to a pdf, but it would mean that a program that knows what a .grml file is, and how to represent it on paper, assuming it even can be, is involved in the middle.

He refused to believe me, and found a company where the sales person swore up and down their product could do it. I said "then you explained it wrong" and we went back and forth. It culminated in me being put in contact with THEIR programmer. I explained what he was looking for. Their programmer replied along the lines of "but that's impossible, and also what would a PDF of half these examples even look like?" I basically said "I know, but your guy is telling my guy you can do this, so you need to tell your guy to STFU before we ALL get roped into trying to convert Duke Nukem maps and zip files full of dlls to pdfs."

Luckily it finally died after that, but the whole ordeal took months.

*I'm being direct/blunt for the sake of brevity when recapping what I said, just fill in the usual "talking with a client niceties"

Comments
  • 7
    I think your boss now thinks it is possible but you were THAT lazy that you convinced that company to shift to your side
  • 6
    I personally store all my music as PDFs 🤣
  • 5
    Funny how the people for whom tech is just some magical mojo think they know better than us what is possible. I pay my bills doing this shit, but someone who can be fooled with HackerTyper is obviously more qualified to judge.
  • 1
    Wauw... Fuck yeah duke nukem maps to pdf, yup, totally!
  • 4
    @NeatNerdPrime I mean, how else are we supposed to play in Acrobat Reader?
  • 0
    PDF is the new WebAssembly!
  • 2
    @pythondev PDF supports embedded multimedia files as well as JS, so...
  • 6
    "Simple" solution, just store all the binary "text" as the corresponding ASCII characters, like using CP437 or latin-1, with ASCII character 0x01 being the smiling character, etc. Render using a suitably small font, capable of all those characters... or render an image of them...

    Wouldn't look pretty for e.g. dll files, but it would be a PDF!
  • 0
    @Mooie Came here to say this!
  • 0
    Made my day !

    But here : MP3 to PDF LMAO

    https://en.pdf24.org/mp3-2-pdf.html

    No idea what the output is
  • 0
    you are incorrect on a technicality: if unknown/unprintable, just dump the entire file as hex.
  • 0
    @NoToJavaScript do you think it's worth throwing it into a VM to see?
  • 0
    Ok, so if he wanted anything to be packed into some file, he could just say zip instead of pdf.

    And if he really means that everything should be possible to be represented as pdf, then he is a complete idiot. How can one even come up with something that stupid? You just need to think logically for a second and it should be clear how dumb that is.
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