updated 02:45 pm EDT, Thu July 21, 2011
New format could challenge PDF format
Wolfram has launched Computable Document Format (CDF), a new document format that the company hopes will become a standard for embedding interactive content within a document. The company hopes to line up publishers and other organizations seeking to "bring documents to life." Wolfram still has not ironed out the business model behind CDF.
In many ways, CDF is an upgrade to Adobe's PDF document format. The major difference is that CDF incorporates computational capabilities within its framework. Instead of calling up predetermined imagery, CDF actually allows the viewer to change parameters on the fly. CDF then calculates the new result and displays it.
The biggest challenge facing Wolfram is PDF's current dominance as a de facto standard for cross platform document delivery. It remains unclear how Wolfram would persuade content providers to migrate to the new platform. Wolfram also needs to work out how PDF and CDF would interact.
Wolfram is currently providing a player that will allow users to view and experience sample CDF documents. [via ZDNet]