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RE: Is MS Excel considered web content?

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 12 May 2011 12:22:25 -0700
To: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
CC: "'List WAI GL'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "'Loretta Guarino Reid'" <lorettaguarino@google.com>, "'Judy Brewer'" <jbrewer@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5076E68FCD2E91428C2479984A81E1147EB10D8491@NAMBX01.corp.adobe.com>
So Excel documents are web content if they are intended to be viewed through a user agent, and Excel.exe is a user agent by definition if it is designed to provide access to web content?  I think just maybe we need a better definition...

This is exactly why I lobbied (hopefully successfully) for the new Section 508 document to eliminate the split between web content and non-web content.

Thanks,
AWK

Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility
Adobe Systems

akirkpat@adobe.com<mailto:akirkpatrick@adobe.com>
http://twitter.com/awkawk
http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility

From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Gregg Vanderheiden
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 7:03 PM
To: David MacDonald
Cc: 'List WAI GL'; 'Loretta Guarino Reid'; 'Judy Brewer'
Subject: Re: Is MS Excel considered web content?

On May 10, 2011, at 5:24 PM, David MacDonald wrote:


It appears our definition is a little broader than that, no?

user agent
any software that retrieves and presents Web content for users

Example: Web browsers, media players, plug-ins, and other programs - including assistive technologies<http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#atdef> - that help in retrieving, rendering, and interacting with Web content.

The URL stipulation you said below puts the situation I'm trying to fix in a very difficult place because, then accessible Excel spreadsheets could not posted as a conforming alternative to inaccessible PDFs.


I don't think yours is any broader.    Web content is defined as content fetched by a URL.

RE excel sheets--    they can be referenced by a URL.   If the user agents will display them - then they are Web content.  If not -- then they wouldn't meet you definition of web content either I wouldn't think.  RIght?



Gregg
-----------------------
Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

On May 10, 2011, at 5:24 PM, David MacDonald wrote:


It appears our definition is a little broader than that, no?

user agent
any software that retrieves and presents Web content for users

Example: Web browsers, media players, plug-ins, and other programs - including assistive technologies<http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#atdef> - that help in retrieving, rendering, and interacting with Web content.

The URL stipulation you said below puts the situation I'm trying to fix in a very difficult place because, then accessible Excel spreadsheets could not posted as a conforming alternative to inaccessible PDFs.

Thoughts
David MacDonald
www.eramp.com<http://www.eramp.com>




From: Gregg Vanderheiden [mailto:gv@trace.wisc.edu]
Sent: May-10-11 6:14 PM
To: David MacDonald
Cc: 'List WAI GL'; 'Loretta Guarino Reid'; 'Judy Brewer'
Subject: Re: Is MS Excel considered web content?


Sorry
should have said user agent.

if they are intended to be viewed through a user agent -- then they are web content

if they are intended (or only allowed) to be downloaded and viewed with another application  - then they are not.
where User Agent is defined as software designed to access web content by URL and directly present it
(or some such)

Gregg
-----------------------
Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

On May 10, 2011, at 5:03 PM, David MacDonald wrote:



Hmmm...

Is a User Agent limited to only browsers?

Is that to say, an accessible Excel Spreadsheet posted online cannot be a provided as conforming alternative to an PDF financial document that cannot be made conforming ...

... the best to screen read a PDF is to open it in Acrobat rather than the browser... gets murky...

Thoughts?

David


From: Gregg Vanderheiden [mailto:gv@trace.wisc.edu]
Sent: May-10-11 5:55 PM
To: David MacDonald
Cc: 'List WAI GL'; 'Loretta Guarino Reid'; 'Judy Brewer'
Subject: Re: Is MS Excel considered web content?

The distinction I think is pretty generic.

for all information on the web.

if they are intended to be viewed through a browser -- then they are web content

if they are intended (or only allowed) to be downloaded and viewed with another application  - then they are not.


Gregg
-----------------------
Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

On May 10, 2011, at 4:46 PM, David MacDonald wrote:




It's long been bantered around whether MS Word documents and MS Excel documents posted online are considered web content. It probably depends on the context, which we've never defined, that I'm aware of. Is Excel a user agent... whew!... now there's a debate... sure it could be... I guess.

I'm tasked with addressing the accessibility of a huge set of financial documents that are online, 10 volumes of over 3,300 pages and over 500 tables of financial data, in PDF format for a government agency. The PDF financial tables and accompanying text were created from Ventura, which imported them using a process that converts spreadsheets into text for publication of hard copy. The "speadsheets" as a result, after being imported are no longer tabular but rather text, comma delimited... no way to turn them into tables in the PDF tag tree, and not screen reader accessible. So they violate 1.3.1, and an incredible burden of over 5 years to migrate.

In the meantime, I'm recommending they adapt the original Excel spreadsheets and post them as an alternative, the best way to give access to the financial data to a screen reader user (with a bunch of other preparation details I'll leave out here).

However, we don't have any techniques for Excel, and that caused them to question of whether it is actually web content.

If it's not web content, then is it a conforming alternative? If not an alternative, can it pass WCAG, because alternatives have to be content....

Thoughts?

David MacDonald
www.eramp.com<http://www.eramp.com>
Received on Thursday, 12 May 2011 19:23:05 GMT

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