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RE: Ed and Outreadch Opportunity

From: Owen Ambur <Owen.Ambur@verizon.net>
Date: Mon, 01 Feb 2010 12:13:45 -0500
To: "'eGovIG IG'" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <002f01caa361$e9cd46e0$bd67d4a0$@Ambur@verizon.net>
Chris, w/re the points in your message below, because PDF is now an open standard, users are not required to have Adobe products in order to create PDFs.  Of course, Adobe will continue to strive to make its tools and services as desirable as possible so that folks may prefer to use them.  However, other alternatives are available.  


For example, XML Simplicity’s StratML Editorial Portal already exceeds your suggestion for “one click save as PDF.”  *No* clicks are required.  PDFs are automatically transformed from StratML (XML) files: http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#XMLSimplicity  RTFs are also automatically created, thus meeting Australia’s accessibility standard (although the XML and HTML renditions should also meet accessibility standards).


Adobe’s PDF Fillable form for StratML includes an icon to use Acrobat.com to create PDFs:  http://xml.gov/stratml/forms/StrategicPlan.pdf  


Joe Carmel is working on incorporating XSL-FO into his XForm for StratML, which already includes an XML+XSL button to apply an HTML stylesheet.  See http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#Carmel or, more specifically, http://xmldatasets.net/XF2/stratmlxform3.xml   In addition, he’s working on a “cataloging” button to produce the kind of metadata you are suggesting.


Even Corel supports automated conversion of documents from their proprietary formats into PDF.  PDFs can also be opened for editing in WordPerfect (with some loss of fidelity).  Unfortunately, though, Corel doesn’t provide much support for XML.  http://apps.corel.com/partners_developers/casb/serviceb/puttogether/pubpdf/index.htm 


It will be interesting to see the impact of i4i’s patent infringement lawsuit on the ability of MS to support the authoring and editing of “custom” XML (like StratML documents) in the Office Suite.  Ictect has provided a StratML Quick Start Guide for MS Word users, in DOC and PDF format:  http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#Ictect 


BTW, on February 18, Federal Computer Week is hosting a breakfast session hosted by Adobe on how to craft open gov plans.  See http://xml.gov/index.asp#February or, more specifically, http://custom.1105govinfo.com/events/adobe-transparency/home.aspx 


I am encouraging GPO and GSA to provide an “official” standard XSL-FO transforming agency open gov plans from StratML (XML) to PDF. 





From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Chris Beer
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 7:23 AM
To: rachel.flagg@gsa.gov
Cc: Owen.Ambur@verizon.net; 'eGovIG IG'
Subject: Re: Ed and Outreadch Opportunity



I think there are a couple of other points to keep in mind as well while we discuss this.

*	Not every Agency will have access to the full Adobe suite of products for PDF production, if any. The solution must be explainable as platform independent and agency size (ie: personnel and ICT tech limitations in mind) independent - assume that agencies could be using everything from Adobe to Word to GoogleDocs to OpenOffice and everything in between. And that they may have a standardised architecture, or they may not. They may have a central publications office. They may not.
*	Not every Agency, or indeed, employees tasked with production of a publication in an Agency, will have a) a Publishing or IT background and b) access to training (due to funds or otherwise) to learn PDF production indepth. Old habits will certainly die hard, and one click "save as PDF" will still be utilised by many. (Hint).


Accessibility: In Australia the standard line is that documents provided as PDF's can be made "accessible" if you provide an RTF version alongside it. I'm sure we're not the only ones who interpret WCAG in that way either. Since my discovery of the concept of PDF/UA (nod to Owen and AIIM) this suddenly not only seems redundant, but quite silly - with PDF/UA not only superseding the need for RTF, but in many cases, we could produce PDF files that in fact read better than any print version - the idea of spoken word PDF documents isn't a bad one :) 


Meta-data and machine-readability, document findability and preserving Government publications online: Identifying and encouraging the use of metadata schema's is obviously a must, as well as teaching others how to go about including this in a PDF document. Obviously including these fields (automated where possible) in a PDF "template" by default is a bonus for any agency. 



Received on Monday, 1 February 2010 17:15:03 UTC

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