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So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 16, 2012 20:11 UTC (Thu) by Lennie (guest, #49641)
In reply to: So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ? by tnoo
Parent article: Google warns of using Adobe Reader - particularly on Linux (The H)

I wouldn't even expect the alternatives to have a good implementation of forms. There might be one that does though, I don't know.

Do you encounter them on a regular basis ?


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So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 16, 2012 20:32 UTC (Thu) by sfeam (subscriber, #2841) [Link]

Sure - every year at tax time. The IRS provides PDF versions of all the required tax forms as, well, forms. Sure you have the option of buying some commercial tax-preparation software with copies of the forms built in, but the history of running such under linux is quite the cautionary tale - remember the TurboTax-trashed-my-boot-sector drama? Anyhow, the free PDF ones from the IRS do the job. Or they would, if you could use them reliably with anything other than Acrobat/Acroread. Other US government agencies do the same thing. For example, some (though not all) of the required NIH grant application and reporting forms are form-based PDF documents. To be fair, I've had reasonably good luck using okular for the NIH forms. Not so with the tax stuff.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 16, 2012 20:55 UTC (Thu) by Lennie (guest, #49641) [Link]

See I knew there most be a reason people have it installed.

I didn't know they did that in the US. I knew my government was probably pretty unique anyway.

My government has a program people can download from their website so people can do their taxes.

I haven't done my own taxes the last couple of years, but this program used to be based on some open source components (there was at least a license file which made that very clear) and it was thus available for Windows, Mac and Linux (I wouldn't be surprised if you could run the Linux program on BSD with Linux emulation as well).

You could print the result or submit it over the Internet.

I just downloaded the one for 2011 and it seems to be mostly a bunch of HTML-files with a program around it (it also has a license file which says it used LGPL software) and it is still available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 17, 2012 13:24 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

> I didn't know they did that in the US. I knew my government was probably pretty unique anyway.

> My government has a program people can download from their website so people can do their taxes.

How it works for USA federal government is that if your filing 1040 EZ, which means that you are probably renting your house and have relatively low income. If you do that then there is a number of tax prep software you can download or use online free of charge that are from corporations.

If your a using itemized deductions and/or have investments and higher income to support then you have to use the 1040 form, which means that you can use the same applications as 1040ez, but you have to pay for them.

Probably about half the people I know use accountants. Certified public accountants and their assistants helping average people prepare taxes is a very large business.

There were a couple open source software written for it. I used one of those one year actually and it worked quite well.

Nowadays I just use online version from one of the tax software companies.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 17, 2012 20:04 UTC (Fri) by Per_Bothner (subscriber, #7375) [Link]

If your a using itemized deductions and/or have investments and higher income to support then you have to use the 1040 form, which means that you can use the same applications as 1040ez, but you have to pay for them.

Actually, taxact.com provides free Federal online fill-in, printing, and e-file. I've been using it the last few years, partly because I can use it without booting into Windows! Fairly full set of forms. You do have to pay for state (but if you're a cheap-skate doing state forms by hand isn't as painful as Federal).

On a related topic: California Tax Franchise Board offers forms you can fill-in and print - but not save because the forms don't have the correct "permisisons". Of course that only applies to Acrobat - Evince will happily save the forms for you. Another win for Free Software!

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 16, 2012 21:41 UTC (Thu) by pjtait (subscriber, #17475) [Link]

I'm currently using Okular 0.13.2 to fill-in IRS Form 990 - seems to be working well enough.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 16, 2012 23:32 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921) [Link]

Same here - I just tested Okular 0.14.3 with that form and didn't see any anomalies so far.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 16, 2012 23:39 UTC (Thu) by sfeam (subscriber, #2841) [Link]

The problems I had in the past were mostly of the nature that edits to the form data were not properly saved and restored for later re-editing. One pass through - OK. Save and re-open - no good. But hey, if newer versions work better I'll be quite happy.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 17, 2012 0:07 UTC (Fri) by shmerl (guest, #65921) [Link]

I see. I tested editing, saving and reloading - everything works fine so far. So for next tax returns you can try using Okular if that helps avoiding the Reader ;)

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 17, 2012 3:33 UTC (Fri) by wagner17 (subscriber, #5580) [Link]

Okular doesn't save the form data as part of the PDF. See https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=267350.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 20, 2012 8:53 UTC (Mon) by fb (subscriber, #53265) [Link]

If you move that PDF to some other computer, say from desktop to laptop, your edits are all gone.

Perhaps some KDE file managers are smart enough to move the metadata, but a normal shell "cp here/doc.pdf there" will certainly not.

Really a great thing to discover when you are emaling your PDFs back to your lawyer close to the tax submission deadlines.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 20, 2012 11:44 UTC (Mon) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

Yeah, "save as" does not work, but as a workaround you can print the form to another PDF after you fill the form. That second PDF will carry your data around.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 17, 2012 2:22 UTC (Fri) by pabs (subscriber, #43278) [Link]

I had something similar with evince, but it turned out the data was still present but not displayed. Anyway I encourage you to submit a bug (I need to as well).

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 17, 2012 19:59 UTC (Fri) by daniel (guest, #3181) [Link]

I managed to fill out pdf forms a couple of times with Okular. Some dodgy behavior with saving as has been noted. But Okular seems close to obsoleting Adobe's insecure, proprietary product.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 22, 2012 9:07 UTC (Wed) by tnoo (subscriber, #20427) [Link]

OK, so Okular now shows forms nicely, BUT when I interact with the forms, it hides all other content. So I have to click back and forth between view mode and forms mode: this is not user friendly at all.

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 17, 2012 11:40 UTC (Fri) by RobSeace (subscriber, #4435) [Link]

> Sure you have the option of buying some commercial tax-preparation
> software with copies of the forms built in, but the history of running
> such under linux is quite the cautionary tale - remember the TurboTax-
> trashed-my-boot-sector drama?

Do people still buy the boxed retail TurboTax software and run it anymore? I've been using the all-online TurboTax web interface every year since 1998, and always from a Linux-based web browser... For a while, they were checking User-Agent, and not letting you in unless you changed it to lie to them about what OS you were on... But, everything worked fine once you actually get in! But, they thankfully stopped that stupid practice some years ago, and now merely put up a scary warning at the start that you appear to be on an unsupported system, but give you the option of continuing on anyway...

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 17, 2012 21:36 UTC (Fri) by jreiser (subscriber, #11027) [Link]

Do people still buy the boxed retail TurboTax software and run it anymore?

Yes, and I file by printing paper, then physical post.

I've been using the all-online TurboTax web interface ...

You've been feeding the targeted marketing trolls, or at least Intuit's captive ones. All your tax data is kept forever by Intuit, and used to make money by sending you advertisements based on that data: age, gender, filing status, number and age of dependents, filing (residence) address, amount and kind of income, specific employers, specific dividend payers, amount and kind of deductions, amount and kind of tax credits, amount of refund, history of any category over multiple years, etc. Advertisers deliver the content and desired profile to Intuit. Intuit matches you against the profile, prints and applies the address label (or logical equivalent) to the content, and sends the ads. Your tax data never leaves Intuit [except of course when Intuit forwards it to the IRS or sends it back to you over SSL], but it is used for a lot more than just being forwarded to the IRS (or being held for your "convenience" in filing an amended return, defending an audit, etc.)

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 17, 2012 22:12 UTC (Fri) by RobSeace (subscriber, #4435) [Link]

> used to make money by sending you advertisements

Ads? I've been running AdBlock Plus for ages...

Google also revolves around ads, but that doesn't stop me from using their products... If people want to send me ads I'll never see because they're blocked, let them... If it makes Google/Intuit money, and loses the advertisers money, so much the better!

So which/how many users use Adobe Reader on Linux ?

Posted Aug 18, 2012 1:25 UTC (Sat) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

Sometimes you have to remember that targeted ads (especially when well-executed) means *less* and *better* ads (of the kind that may actually be useful to you). :-D


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