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Re: Status of RTF format?

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 16:16:19 -0400
Message-ID: <397CA410.AAC17488@clark.net>
To: A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk, g.gay@utoronto.ca
CC: WAI Guidelines List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Dear Alan,

I confess that the situation you describe is not all that unusual.  Perhaps
Greg Gay can use that.  I do want to return to the subject of the original
post:
Q) Can RTF documents be regarded as accessible?
A) In a word, no.

--
Thanks,
Bruce Bailey


"Alan J. Flavell" wrote:

> 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 Monday, 24 July 2000 16:16:46 GMT

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