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RE: Status of RTF format?

From: Alan J. Flavell <flavell@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 22:47:01 +0100 (BST)
To: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
cc: WAI Guidelines List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.21-pb.0007212236420.6131-100000@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
On Fri, 21 Jul 2000, Bruce Bailey wrote:

> It is probably just as easy to teach people to produce
> well-formatted HTML as it is to get them to use Word styles in a
> powerful and appropriate fashion.  So why not spend your time on
> the former than the latter?

Well, in the situation in which I find myself, it's because the
authors consider Word to be in their skillset, and are (by and large)
open to having that skillset polished and extended; other authors
consider their authoring skillset to be Latex, and, again, are more or
less open to having _that_ skillset polished.  But if asked to produce
a web page, they would typically use Netscape Composer, or an obsolete
version of Front Page, or an obsolete version of Word's own quasi-HTML
extruder, to produce a piece of DTP, and would have little interest in
learning more.

> As you
> observe, getting them to understand the point -- and then to care, is the
> harder problem.
> 
> Alan, do you agree with me that the "average" RTF document is NOT
> accessible?

I think you already know the answer to that.  But I would answer it
more generally: the "average" document _of_any_kind_ is not
accessible, for the reason that you just agreed with me about: authors
do not take accessibility on board as part of their authoring process
(where it could be incorporated at little cost), and afterwards they
assess the potential costs of retro-fitting accessibility as being
unreasonably high, so (unless compelled by law or policy to do so)
they don't even attempt it.  Sadly.

best regards
Received on Friday, 21 July 2000 17:47:03 GMT

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