Tuesday, December 20, 2011


And, of course, nothing the "government" does is actually free...there is that pesky thing called taxes that no one ever likes to pay...but they still want the stuff from the "government".

Sorry if that creates a political $hit storm...it is not in ANYWAY meant to be a political statement but rather a remind of all those fans of "free stuff" that is still takes money to produce those documents...yes, even when it is organization members doing most of the work unpaid.  Paid staff still need to a LOT of work to produce the likes of ACI 318, the MSJC, ASCE 7, and every other document.

Sorry...but the "everything should be free" constantly re-occuring argument just annoys me.  I take someone who makes that argument serious when they offer their engineering services for free...or at least offer it for the cost of paper their contact documents is printed on.

As the real subject at hand, I agree that PDF and other "eDocuments" are getting more and more bogged down with copy protection crap that limits their usefulness.  I was little annoyed with the new PDF version of the NDS.  The previous version was great as it would work with ANY PDF program.  The current version HAS to be used with Adobe Acrobat only...and Acrobat Reader on the Mac is a dog.  I much prefer Preview.  But, I will admit that it is not as locked down as it seems ACI's documents are (Jay you might want to contact the folks at AF&PA/AWC to see what copy protection system they use and pass that info on to the powers that be at ACI...but they might already be aware of it).



On Dec 15, 2011, at 4:41 PM, Jay Shilstone wrote:

FYI, I understand comments from others that documents relating to the Building Code ought to be free. As I understand it, in countries where codes are created by bureaucrats, that is the case. However, ACI and ASTM are not government organizations. I know ACI doesn't receive government funding, but don't know about ASTM. Our codes are created as consensus documents by independent organizations. Even if those organizations are non-profit, it doesn't mean they don't need to bring in money to survive. I think it is a case of, "Do we want free documents created by government committees or do we want documents based on field experience that we have to pay for?" There is no "right" answer, but the reality is that this is the system that we use in the U.S.