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DARPA recognizes the PDF Association’s contributions to SafeDocs

DARPA recognizes the PDF Association’s contributions to its SafeDocs program.
About the author: The PDF Association staff delivers a vendor-neutral platform for PDF’s stakeholders, facilitating the development of open specifications and ISO standards for PDF technology. The staff are located in Germany, the … Read more
PDF Association staff

PDF Association staff
June 26, 2023


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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has recognized the PDF Association for its contributions to DARPA's SafeDocs research program, which concludes at the end of 2023.

DARPA's press release draws particular attention to the PDF-related outcomes of the SafeDocs research program, including:

  • Significant improvements to the PDF specification resulting from performers' investigations and research, with resolutions subsequently reviewed and approved by industry via the public PDF issues GitHub repo. Many of these resolutions are available as part of the no-cost bundle of sponsored ISO standards for PDF.
  • The PDF Association's development of the open-source Arlington PDF Model.
  • NASA / JPL's development of the new web-scale PDF file corpus known as "CC-MAIN-2021-31-PDF-UNTRUNCATED", as discussed last month.
  • The development of various workbenches for efficiently analyzing the behavior and output of multiple parsers across one or more sizeable corpora.
  • Beyond PDF technology, but in PDF's domain, during the program the PDF Association suggested SafeDocs analyze the ICC specifications and develop recommendations for enhanced security in color-management subsystems. All changes were adopted into the latest ICC v4.4 specification (available for free from the International Color Consortium website) and into an update of iccMAX (ICC v5) that is currently underway in ICC and ISO TC 130.
  • Other initiatives related to enhancing specification and standardization processes, including recommendations to ISO for improved management of normative references.

In its release, DARPA's SafeDocs Program Manager, Dr. Sergey Bratus said, “DARPA and the PDF Association are helping standards organizations redefine software specifications and even standards development processes that could help mitigate billions of dollars in terms of loss of productivity caused by data breaches."

Given the variety of PDF applications around the world, it will take years to realize the full value of SafeDocs' contributions to the format's inherent safety, security and reliability, to say nothing of its impact more generally. For the PDF industry, as we look forward, it's clear that SafeDocs' impact will be profound.

Read DARPA's press release.

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