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back to article Adobe convenes 'Come to Jesus' meeting for buggy Reader app

Over the past year, Adobe software has been pummeled by a steady stream of critical zero-day vulnerabilities. On Wednesday, the software maker outlined new initiatives designed to reduce the threats faced by users of its ubiquitous Reader and Acrobat applications. Chief among the changes is a beefed up program to eradicate …

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Anonymous Coward

Adobe isn't the worst software to update

Java is worse.

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Please not like Firefox

It fails if you're not an admin. And if you're browsing, you shouldn't be...

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Pfft

Nuts to vulnerability updates. Why is Adobe Reader now a 41mb download, cause numerous errors when trying to open PDFs through a web browser, throw up a 'license agreement' when it first starts up, and clutter my desktop and start menu with numerous shortcuts to both itself and acrobat.com. I mean, who in their right mind clicks 'start, all programs, adobe reader, file, open, navigates to the appropriate file, and does ok' as opposed to double clicking on the pdf file itself? Really?

Rant over.

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Linux

What is taking up all that space?

Let's compare the installed file size between KDE4's perfectly capable Okular reader and Adobe Reader 8.1.4, both as packaged in Mandriva 2009.1:

rpm -qa --qf "%{NAME} %{SIZE}\n" "*okular*"

okular 2950848

libokularcore1 705360

Okular total size: 3.49MB

rpm -qa --qf "%{NAME} %{SIZE}\n" "acroread*"

acroread-plugins-searchfind 1410770

acroread-plugins-extwin 361026

acroread-plugins-ecmascript 2045666

acroread 74074180

acroread-nppdf 127260

Acroread total size: 74.4MB

So Adobe Reader is around 21 times bigger than a program that's purpose is to just read PDF files. What the hell is Adobe Reader doing then? Either Adobe are horrifically inefficient programmers or there's something else going on.

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Too little, too late

"the software maker outlined new initiatives designed to reduce the threats faced by users of its ubiquitous Reader and Acrobat applications"

I think this is known as shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Allow me to outline a new initiative of my own that I've been undertaking: removing Acrobat Reader and replacing it with a less bloated, more open, more secure alternative.

It's pretty eye-opening stuff. I can actually read PDFs on a web page now, instead of having to save them to disk first, or risk Acrobat bringing down the whole browser. Isn't modern technology marvellous?

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Gates Halo

they should kill the product and license Foxit :)

after a bunch of weird things going wrong with my machine after I'd read a PDF in the Adobe reader I switched to Foxit as an experiment. Much smaller install (and memory) footprint, no more incompatabilities and its fast. The only thing it didn't do for me by deault was Outlook integration but there's a solution to that here http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2008/05/09/foxit-pdf-preview-handler.aspx

sad that a 3rd party makes a better product to read PDFs than Adobe!

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Adobe Updater

Adobe Updater suffers the same problem as Firefox (as mentioned above) in that it needs administrative privileges. Also, it's only invoked when an Adobe program is run. Now that more people are starting to understand the importance of running as non-admin, this has got to change. By contrast, Google Updater runs a Windows service so it can install patches regardless of who is logged on. For this reason alone, Chrome is now my browser recommendation for the many novices who rely on me for computer advice. I'm interested to see, though, that Google Updater can also update some non-Google software too, including Reader and Firefox. I've yet to try this, so I wonder if anyone here can say whether it patches these third-party products in the same way (and thus under a non-admin account)? If so, big thumbs-up for Google.

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