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Re: Bandwidth as a constraint

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 07:17:02 -0400 (EDT)
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
cc: "Charles F. Munat" <chas@munat.com>, WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0108310709590.12237-100000@tux.w3.org>
It was an example. PDF is a hybrid graphics format - it can contain text and
graphics in the same encoding, unlike HTMl (more like SVG). In general it is
a fairly efficient format, but there are some common tools out there that
would make people think otherwise - a lot of the PDF that is transferred
acrtoss the Web is measured in Megabytes - the same as badly designed
graphics, while the best of it is comparable to HTML code - and only the very
leanest graphics.

PDF is a great format for tight visual rendering control, and is relatively
web-aware (by comparison to its big print-oriented brother postscript for
example, but less so than SVG).

The point is that we need to consider this issue as we think about a
multimedia web - there are ways of optimising content for download size as
for many other requirements, and some sound technical thinking needs to go
into this process to ensure that we are not creating more problems than we
are solving. "graphics" is not necessarily a bandwidth hog, but lots of the
graphics that is produced is - and some of that could be better produced to
be lightweight, while some of it is just technically inferior encoding of
information or poor use of available technology.


On Fri, 31 Aug 2001, Anne Pemberton wrote:


           Thanks for you input here.... hadn't thought of PDF in that light,
  but is a nuisance. I think it is used to keep documents similar across
  various media. It seems to be very popular in government offices - much of
  what we get from the state dept of ed these days is in PDF format ....

           Is PDF more of a bandwidth hog than graphics, or about the same?


  At 08:27 PM 8/30/01 -0400, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
  >Bandwidth is a problem for people. There are bandwidth-intesive ways to send
  >content (the overblown PDF that some tools generate is an example) that are
  >unnecessary, and that cause problems for people who live in areas where
  >infrastructure is poor.
  >I am not sure that we should have a blanket checkpoint on this, anymore than
  >I think a blanket checkpoint saying "add multimedia" is good, although both
  >of these things are clearly good principles to keep in mind.
  >Do we have anywhere a list of the things we think are good ideas?
  >On Thu, 30 Aug 2001, Anne Pemberton wrote:
  >   Bandwidth-intensive content cannot deprive anyone of anything. It is the
  >   receiving hardware that deprives. That is the point of saying "Include
  >   Illustrations" .... if they aren't there, everyone loses no matter which
  >   world they live in.

  Anne Pemberton


Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
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Received on Friday, 31 August 2001 07:17:04 UTC

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